2 Weeks Using Green Skin Care

Happy 2017 since I haven’t said so already! This year for me is all about health, both mental and physical. I feel a little cheesy because everyone and their mother makes a New Year Resolution to become healthier, but for the first time ever, I feel ready to commit to a resolution. I have spent the last half of 2016 working on my mental health by decluttering, taking a lot of down time, and staying away from stressful things (like the internet). I was becoming overwhelmed with things that I felt like I had to do, and even though I enjoyed many of these things (like posting on my blog or Instagram), it was stressing me out. I wouldn’t say my mental health is at 100% right now, but I do feel ready to shift my focus on to physical health and that includes my beauty routine.

To me, creating a healthier beauty routine starts with removing any unnecessary chemicals and paying attention to the ingredients in your every day products.You might remember I had started in 2016 with some cruelty-free deodorant, which also happened to be fairly chemical-free. This time, I am trying out a chemical-free skin care routine.

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Cocoon Apothecary kindly reached out to me about testing out a few products which I was incredibly excited about. I had heard of this local brand before and already had my eye on a few things. I received their Skin Care Starter Kit which has just about everything you need to start a routine: a cleanser, toner and moisturizer. This kit for normal skin types is all about roses so it smells feminine and luxurious. Each bottle contains 20 mL of product which will last approximately a month. Since I was changing my entire routine, I pulled in a few other bits of skin care so I could stay chemical-free which included a serum, a make up eraser cloth and a mask.

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I stuck to my typical routine and for the first week, I used the Petal Purity Facial Cleanser**. I didn’t have the highest hopes upon looking at the ingredients and seeing coconut oil which is known to break me out but I still wanted to give it a try. It was pretty painful but that is definitely a me thing, and not the fault of this product but I had to switch to a different cleanser for week two. In the seven days I had used it, I found that this cream cleanser that is extremely gentle and makes my skin feel fantastic. It was soft, smooth and supple but it didn’t make my skin feel clean. All of the cream cleansers that I have tried leave traces of make up especially around my eyes and this was no exception (even with the help of my make up eraser copy-cat). Because of those two things, this cleanser simply wasn’t for me.

This set also came with the Rose Dew Facial Toner** which I liked. It contains one ingredient and has a spray applicator that made me quite happy. The rosey smell is a plus compared to your typical toner and it felt exactly like water. It didn’t strip my skin at all, or leave any residue but it helped keep it fresh. This had a much bigger impact then I thought it would since it didn’t irritate my skin at all. It is a great option for the sensitive skin crowd.

The final step in my routine was the Rosey Cheeks Facial Cream**. I must admit that I was a little nervous to use this as a day cream (due to the lack of SPF) or a night cream (as it is thicker in consistency) but it ended up working great. This thick, non-greasy formula sunk into my skin quickly and kept my face hydrated but not shiny in the least. I focused it mainly around my nose, forehead and chin and it seemed to make quite a difference in the redness of my skin.

A slight disclaimer, I did cheat a little bit and use an acne spot treatment on day seven and a different cleanser for week two to repair any initial damage, but otherwise, these are the results. Although the cleanser was a bust when it comes to my skin, I highly recommend trying this trio out yourself especially if you are just trying out chemical-free skin care or are looking for a new routine for your sensitive skin. If you have any cleanser recommendation for me to try on my oily skin, feel free to let me know!

Til next time, ttfn x

Not Just Another Skin Care Routine


My skin sucks. It has never been very good but I blame that on the years of neglect and abuse that it took. From the acne scarring to the abundance of blackheads that I wasn’t actively trying to prevent to the sun damage from lack of SPF. My skin looks rather messy after so much crap. And yet, there is hope.

Recently, I have found some skin saving products that have been helping me back track the years of damage and prevent further breakouts, help minimize some pores, keep my face super clean and keep my skin in balance. My number one concern is acne. I break out all of the time. Even using these products, I can’t stop myself from having some small pimples around my chin/cheek area. However, I am not getting the big painful bumps I have been getting for the past 4-5 years. This is my new staple routine.


Like most people, after a day of make up wearing, sweat and oil, I cleanse my skin. Right now, I am using this Ole Henriksen African Red Clay cleanser which I have already reviewed. This is the only product that I think I will stray from in the future. I do like it, but it isn’t a ground breaking product to me. That being said, it does most of what I want: removes make up, cleans my face, is gentle and it even smells fantastic.I am still unsure if it is doing anything to remove blackheads or help with acne but otherwise, it is a fantastic cleanser option.

Though I didn’t need an eye make up remover on this particular day, my go to favourite is the Estee Lauder Gentle Eye Makeup Remover. I haven’t talked abut this product before because I don’t have to use it too often but it is so good. I have gone through 2-3 bottles over the 8 or so year which my mom has given them to me. They usually come in the Estee Lauder holiday packs or value packs from the Bay. On it’s own, it is totally reasonably priced for how amazing it is. It’s gentle and powerful and will last forever.

After washing my face, I go in with a toner. This is the Reversa Solution for Oily and Acne Prone Skin which is the only toner I have used that I feel has really done something for my skin. When applied, it tingles a bit and you can feel it scrubbing away at your spots. It helps with my acne but also brightens and makes my skin very smooth. I believe this is also the reason my acne scarring is starting to fade. This is a new staple in my skin care wardrobe.
 I have two moisturizers that I have come to love but one is discontinued. I use both the Vichy Normaderm Night Detox and the Oxy Natural Action Oil Absorbing lotion on the areas of my skin they are needed. I apply the Vichy lotion in my acne prone areas – the nose, cheeks and chin – and then with a flat top brush, I apply the Oxy Natural Action lotion on my forehead and cheekbones where I get most oily during the day. Both products are moisturizing while keeping my oiliness under control. The Vichy moisturizer really helps to heal my acne as it does happen and there is a noticeable difference when I don’t use it.

 After a good nights sleep, I wake up a bit dewy so I go in again with the Reversa toner and follow it with whatever moisturizer I am using that day. Right now, I am using the Murad Oil Control Mattifier when I need/want to but find it is a bit thick and dry for some foundations. I plan on trying out the Reversa Anti-Wrinkle cream** next!

I’m not sure if you can tell but I only have two active spots (by my lip, on my cheek) which is fantastic compared to my usual situation. This stuff has been game changing for me and I am so relieved to have products that work (finally). What products do you swear by?

Til next time, ttfn x

#MOTD: Beach Proof

 

Does it make me a bit high maintenance for wearing make up to the beach? I suppose it could. I know it wont last and I know it isn’t necessary but it is still a fun way to protect your skin and look your best in all of the beachy pics. Today, I thought I would show you what I would do to get beach ready. I will mostly be using products from my Summer-ize your Make Up Look post so if you’re interested in a bit of a review of each product, that’s where to look!


Firstly, a mattifying moisturizer + SPF from Murad. This stuff is pretty good for keeping your skin shine-free which is something I have to combat when I am out in the sun. I skip the primer and grab a lightweight CC cream to do a bit of tone correcting but keep that lightweight feel. Here, I am using the Smashbox CC cream for even more SPF protection. It is a little dark, but if I mix these two products together, I think it works perfectly.

    
Next up, I do some basics: brows, mascara, lips. For the brows, I have the Annabelle Waterproof Skinny Brow pencil in Universal Medium which stays all day, sweat or shine. As a mascara, I use whatever waterproof formula I have at that time. I prefer something more natural since I wont be wearing too much make up and I don’t want it to be so crazy obvious if some mascara wears off throughout the day. Right now, I have the NYC Cityproof 24hr Waterproof mascara. On the lips, I have the Fresh Sugar lip treatment in Petal for some not so crazy colour and another layer of SPF but this time, on my lips. It may sound excessive, but I burn very easily and it isn’t a flattering look!


Since this look is pretty minimal at this point, I thought I would add a little something more to the look using the Waterproof Rimmel Natural bronzer. I added a bit to the crease and lid so that my eyes were a little more eye catching and did some bronzing with it as well. Throw on a pair of shades, your bikini and, for me, a ponytail and it’s time to go to the beach!

  
Til next time, ttfn x

Summer-izing Your Make Up Routine

In the summer, your make up should include the 3 S’s: Sweatproof, SPF and shine. I am not an expert, but being someone who likes playing with make up and has a pretty good amount of it, I figured I should pass on some useful products and tips to help summer-ize your look this season.

  I am not much of a sweater, but I spend quite a bit of time outdoors in the summer months. With the sun beating down or the threat of rain or if you’re heading to the beach or pool, you don’t want anything sliding around. Waterproof make up products are a must and the most important of which to me are my brows. The Annabelle Skinny Brow Waterproof liner keeps my brows staying put whether I am in the pool or out biking on a hot day. Another recommendation is the Rimmel Waterproof Bronzer. I am not a huge bronzer person, but this can double as an eyeshadow and a bit of a bronze glow never hurts during the summer. For some shine, what better time to have a healthy glow than the summertime? The cult classic: the Balm’s Mary-Lou Maniszr gives the most shine anyone could ask for.

  Sticking with make up products, I have the Sephora CC Cream with fantastic coverage. I recommend CC and BB creams because they are lightweight, moisturizing and usually have an SPF in there somewhere. Unfortunately, this one seems to be discontinued and doesn’t have SPF but there are hundreds of lightweight options out there such as the Smashbox Camera Ready CC Cream with SPF 30. Speaking of which, your lips need SPF coverage too. The Fresh Sugar lip treatments are great for adding a little bit of colour and protection. That sun can do some major damage if you protect yourself.

  That’s where the Murad Oil-Control Mattifier with SPF 15 comes in. To help with oil control and sun protection, this moisturizer is perfect for all of the oily people out there this summer. To beat the heat and refresh my look, I use the Avene Thermal Spring Water. It works like a charm and lasts forever.

I have a whole post about pedi ready feet, but I thought I would include this as a bonus item. The Flexitol Heel Balm is fantastic at moisturizing your heels. As much as people are weird about feel, you still want them presentable and not dry or cracked.

What other tricks do you have to summer-ize your look?

Til next time, ttfn x

6100 Main: Fashion of Rice University // Rosiemay // Fairyburger // In The Loop // Suite 6Ten // Southern Soul // My L(e)onely Planet // Native Texan Livin’ // The Pace // AMtoPM // Lipstick and Brunch // Beauty and the Pitch

First Impression Night Time Skin Care Routine

The other day, I received a few neat little pieces of skin care in the mail: a serum, night treatment and eye mask. It was a pretty perfect opportunity to do a first impression post all about skin care!

One down fall I have to admit is that I can’t be sure of the long term effects of these products after only trying them once. However, I am able to give you an idea of how each product feels, the obvious pros and cons, and any instant success or failure a product might have. In other words, my first impression.

My night time skin care routine is basically make up removal, cleanser and a night time moisturizer or treatment as well as an occasional mask. This time, I am also adding an eye mask from VII Code which I will have reviewed in depth next week if you’re curious.


Since I wasn’t wearing make up, I skipped over the make up removal and went straight to a cleanser. I didn’t realize that the Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Face Polish was going to be more of an exfoliating product than a cleanser or else I might have tried something different. Either way, this feels very gritty and soft all at one. The beads are small and mixed in with a relatively thick cream which is quite lovely. My skin felt softer but also pretty tight after using this. The smell was not offensive and overall, I thought it was an ok product. Nothing too special.


Next up, a single serve face mask from Life which I believe is Shoppers brand. This one in particular is the detoxifying face mask with lotus flower and ginseng. The mixture smells warm, floral and fresh. The package is so jam packed with product that I can easily get 2-3 masks from this single package and they are pretty affordable. This mask warmed up when applied to the skin and tightened as it dried. It is one of the easiest masks I have ever had to wash off which was a nice feature and my skin felt quite bare after; stripped of dirt and oil. I like how it felt but didn’t see much of an immediate result.


As you know, I love my Vichy Night Detox cream for bed time, but I was sent this Vichy Idéalia Skin Sleep from Chick Advisor so I wanted to give it a try. I was pretty excited to get to try another Vichy skin care product since they have never disappointed me before. This cream feels a lot like a gel and sits on your face to really moisturize. It smells like most of the Vichy products: fresh and pretty. It was slightly thick feeling and made my face rather dewy in the morning.


Last up, the VIICode eye masks. I will be reviewing these next week but from my first experience with them, they were cooling when you first put them on and found it was totally different than other eye masks I have tried before. Most are soaked in a serum but these have a solid gel pad that sticks to your skin. Overall, they are lovely but quite expensive too.

A few days later, and it doesn’t looks like I’ve reacted badly to anything! If you have tried any of these products, let me know. I will post a before/after shot on my Instagram for anyone interested!

Til next time, ttfn x

How I Saved My Skin

First off, I know more than anyone that my skin is not perfect. It is acne prone, oily, uneven and frankly, a bit of a mess. So you might be thinking: what am I listening to you for? Well, honestly, my skin now is nothing to what it was before. The two biggest downfalls I had were that I had no consistent skin care routine in place and I frequently touched and picked at my skin. No wonder I couldn’t remember what it felt like not to have a pimple! Skin care becomes more and more important as you age so the sooner you find a routine that works for you, the sooner you can prevent damage.
Disclaimer: I have no medical background and these are simply tips I found helped me put an emphasis on clearing my skin, preventing breakouts and maintaining a not-so-bad completion.
So, as I said, I have 3 main struggles: acne, oil and uneven skin due to scarring. My acne is mostly around my chin and cheeks with some scarring from my teens. There are many different things you can do to reduce the appearance of both of these things while also keeping your skin happy and freak-out free but people take to products differently so test things out and try new things! But, before the skin care products even come into play, I do have a few suggestions…

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Picture from my Make Up For Ever Ink Liner tutorial.
First off, wear make up. Obviously, foundation and concealer are a bandaid for the skin problems you have and some can be not so blemish friendly so do your research. But I find that when I do wear make up, I am so much better at not touching my face in fear of ruining my foundation and concealer. An even bigger benefit for me is that I am much more diligent at washing my face because I know the make up needs to get off. Let’s be real, taking off your make up at night is very relieving. When I don’t wear it, I take the lazy way out and just slash my face with water and call it a night. It almost sounds like it is counter productive but as long as you’re using make up that works well with your skin type and you take it off religiously, wearing makeup works wonders.

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Next up, skip the make up wipes and cleanse. Your face simply does not get clean enough when you only use a make up wipe. Cleansing is the way to go and one that will target a major skin issue is best. For my skin, I love the Murad Essential C Cleanser which helps brighten my skin and reduce scarring. Applying a bit to this brush I bought at Sally Beauty Supply, I wash my face and clear away any extra product with some water (and an adorable face cloth I got from my pal SpiffyKerms). I do find that sometimes, it is hard to get all of the make up off especially around my eyes since its a sensitive area so I use a bit of Coconut Oil and my fingers to massage it away. It’s amazing for waterproof mascara. Just an extra tip!

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No matter your skin type, exfoliating is key to a smooth complexion but be gentle! If you’re too harsh with the product or use it too frequently, your skin can become dry and irritated. I look for anything that specifies it can be used daily or has micro beads as they usually are friendlier on the skin. I am hooked on St. Ives and switch between the Green Tea and Apricot scrubs. Once or twice a week, it is a good idea to use a face mask too. You know I am an advocate of face masks since they are my #1 fav skin care product and there are so many out there. Here is a sneak peak at the Glam Glow Duel Cleanse mask that I will be reviewing shortly! Using a mask has a handful of benefits from unclogging pores to locking in the moisture. Find out what mask works best for you and play around with brands and frequency (just don’t overuse it).

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Moving away from the face for a minute, there are three body products you should look into to keep your skin glowing: a good body scrub, exfoliating mitts and a foot scrub. Most people forget that more than just the face needs some tlc. Whether you’re in need of some extra hydration or a bit of toning, there is something out there for you. As an acne prone girl, I do occasionally suffer with body acne so I always always always use the Murad acne body wash. It smells fantastic and works even better. Using this in conjunction with the mitts (which were only $3 at Shoppers so there is no excuse), my skin is very rarely dry. As for the foot scrub, I think it’s self explanatory but let me convince you anyways. Feet get the worst of the worst treatment throughout the day. They become wet, sweaty, dry, stinky, and dirty so daily care is a must. Normally, I look for anything with beads in it to keep them soft especially in the summer months. I don’t have a good product recommendation for this one so if you do, let me know. To be honest, I just switch between different brands and grab whatever is cheapest.

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Moving back up to the face, it is always a good idea to tone. Again, there is a product to target every skin situation and some are better than others. However, all toners help to restore balance to your skin which is an important part of the skin care process. It’s also one of my favourites! Before toning, I like to do any eyebrow maintenance before I tone my face so that if I have any hair sticking to my skin, I can easily take it off with the toner. Just a bit on a cotton pad does the trick and you can see all the gunk that was on your face.

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Moisturize. Your skin will be very upset if you don’t! Keeping your skin as hydrated as it can be will drastically help in the prevention of wrinkles and give you a smooth surface. We aren’t just talking about the face again! Feet, legs, back, butt, hands, arms, neck, face and just about everywhere else are all important. I try to use unscented products myself but it’s up to personal preference. During the day time though, it is never a bad idea to use something with spf since sun damage is not too fun. A quick note: moisturizer should be your last step so if you have any treatments or serums, use them before moisturizing. At least, I always do.

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Lastly, a very important bit of skin that takes a whole lot of damage in the course of the day: your lips. Eating, lipstick or gloss application, kissing, breathing and talking can really dry out and irritate your lips especially during a cold or in the cold! Just remember that your two best buds are a lip scrub and lip balm. There are a huge variety to choose from and you can even make your own.

I hope this was helpful and had a few new little tips to boost your skin care. Since skin is constantly changing, I love playing around with different cleansers, masks, exfoliators, moisturizers and more so leave any recommendations below. I would love to see if there is something I can improve upon in my little routine.
What is your favourite skin care product?
Til next time, ttfn x