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

An Oily Girls Best Friend

I really debated whether I wanted to dedicate an entire post to this product or not. It’s only recently that I have found skin care that truly works for me and it is so exciting. My skin has always been an area for me to improve because in my youth, I really didn’t take care of it as well as I should have. That continued on into my teenage years where I was starting to get oilier and acne-prone. After much neglect, I began using different products, trying to create a skin care routine for myself and it’s only very recently at 23 that I have found products that work. And of course, this one is discontinued.

 I went into a bit of detail in my latest favourites about this little $1.25 bottle of Oxy Natural Action Oil Absorbing lotion. My very thoughtful fiance saw it while shopping at a local Dollar store by our house and recalled how often I complain about my oily skin. I was ecstatic when I saw the product and it’s claims, though a little skeptical. After using it the first time, I was totally sold.

I put it on before bed one night when I was without the Vichy Normaderm Night Detox lotion, and woke up with no excess oil on my skin. That has never happened after hitting puberity. I was floored. Then, throughout the day, I saw that my skin was looking really good, mattified, the make up I was wearing was staying put. Another miracle. I do have products that do something similar but absolutely not to this extent. I was very impressed.

  

 Since then, I have been using this product pretty much daily. It is a creamy moisturizer with a thin consistancy. It doesn’t work very well when mixed with make up so you do have to let it totally soak in before applying anything or use it at night. Once it dries, it does feel a little stiff which is so weird but not bad. The smell reminds me of clay which doesn’t bother me. I also absolutely have to apply this product with a brush because it completely dries out my hands/cuticles. Other than those avoidable cons, it’s perfect.

I have tried looking up where to buy more and quickly discovered that it isn’t being made anymore (or at least, it doesn’t appear to be). Because of that, I ran out to the Dollar store and bought them out. I also hope and pray that I can find something comparable to this before I run out!

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

Taking Out The Trash 2

Since I will be moving at the end of January, I have been going through all of my things and trying to either use them, donate them or trash them. It hasn’t been a long while since I did my very first Empties post but as you can see, I have used quite a few things in that time (and it is starting to overflow – oops). I warned you already that this is about to be really candle heavy and I don’t think I’ve disappointed! However, there are also a few make up, skin care and even a drink container. So without further ado, let’s take out the trash!

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First things first, look at all of these candles. I burned through 5 three wick candles and 1 one wick to top it off. Out of every scent, my favourite has got to be the amazing London Calling Tea and Lemon scent. When I first sniffed this at Bath and Body Works, I really didn’t care for it. I don’t know what I was thinking but I did come to my senses (or scent-ses) and but it before it was totally gone. I wouldn’t say it was citrusy like many lemon fragranced things are, but it is warm and sweet but not sugary. Does that make sense? The smell is so powerful that it doesn’t have to be lit to enjoy it though obviously, I did light it and use it up completely! I believe they come out with it every year so I can’t wait to purchase it again when the time comes!
Moving onto another lemony candle, I had the Lemon Mint Leaf which is a soft minty scent. The smell really isn’t for everyone but if you’re a fan of fresh, minty candles, you’re going to have to try this. Again, I think they come back with this every year (but maybe that is just hopeful thinking). It is also an amazing kitchen candle as it is so fresh but fragrant. I love it!
If you notice, there are two Cider Lane candles from Slatkin & Co which I received as gifts. These smell exactly like apple juice and the entire time I had them burning, I craved it. There is one more one wick in my bedroom now but it is getting down there. However, it isn’t my favourite smell and it doesn’t linger very long. I don’t know if that is simply due to the light scent or because I don’t usually go for apple-scented candles, but I would love to see what other unique candles the company has to offer.
Ahh, Bourbon Butterscotch. If you recall, I ranted about how amazingly sweet this candle was. It smells like rich butterscotch which to taste, I don’t really care about, but obviously to smell, I loved. This was my number 1 candle this fall especially around thanksgiving. It is so warm and fills the entire room with the light scent. I had never seen it beforehand but I also never really go for the food scented candles (says the girl who has mostly food scented candle empties) unless it is fruit. I don’t know whether I will repurchase next year or not yet but I enjoyed it while it lasted.
I feel like I may be the only girl in the world that doesn’t like floral scented things. So many floral perfumes, candles, sprays and air fresheners are so overpoweringly strong, I feel like I could choke to death. Ok, maybe that is a bit overdramatic, but I still don’t usually like them. Bloom, however, is very light and smells like a less soapy version of the typical linen scent. We had used it in the bathroom and the smell was very airy and nice. It reminds me of a perfect spring day; the kind of light and breezy smell that comes in through the open windows when you’re tackling your spring cleaning. The name suits it perfectly.

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Finally, to move on from candles, I finished up the Tim Hortons French Vanilla Cappicino. For everyone outside of Canada, I am sorry you haven’t experienced Tim Hortons. It is simply fantastic. Normally, I don’t go for hot beverages but for this (and tea or hot chocolate), I make the exception. I got this December 2013 as a lovely Christmas gift from my beautiful fiancé after buying and buying and buying them at Timmies all winter long. Fantastic for any cold day.

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Though I am not a big fan, I went through two make up wipe packs. I never feel like make up wipes really do enough but I do use them as like a first step to get off a bit of makeup before washing my face especially if I am wearing dark lipstick or a lot of foundation. Of everything I’ve tried, these no name looking makeup wipes are my favourite. They are actually the Balea 3 in 1 cleansing wipes which come in a reusable box. There are 56 wipes in a pack which is what attracted me to them in the first place but they are not too wet or too dry and don’t irritate my eyes. They really don’t have a smell and are frequently on sale for under $7 at Shoppers. Perfect!
The second package is the Skyn Iceland wipes which I got in an ipsy bag. They were so weird feeling but overall they worked. They felt kind of stiff and dry but they weren’t. They were also a bit oily but it didn’t effect my skin negatively. I won’t repurchase them because I don’t really care about them all too much.

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Speaking of oil, I used up this sample of GLAMGLOW Duel Cleanse mask (which I will have a review of coming soon!) which goes from a clay mask to oil when rinsing it off. Since I will be doing an in depth review in the future, I don’t wanna say too much but it is very different from anything else I’ve tried. My skin usually doesn’t react well with face oils but it felt much more like a serum to me. Stay tuned for an in depth review!

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Some more skin care that I have loved is the St. Ives Apricot Scrub. Though I prefer the Green Tea scrub which I use now, this has much larger scrubbing beads that exfoliated well and the smell was lovely. The price is right and I will absolutely be repurchasing this. I can pretty confidentiality say that St. Ives is my most beloved skin care brand from the drug store. I am really interested in trying a few drug store cleansers though once my Murad Essential C cleanser runs out so if you have any suggestions, let me know!

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I’ve had his Olay moisturizer for forever, so I thought it was about time to part with it. It wasn’t anything special for my face, but I used it frequently on my dry legs. My legs are pretty sensitive and I can’t use scented lotions on them too often without them stinging or giving me razor burn so I started using this and it worked like a dream. I am sure at this point though, it is expired and does nothing so into the trash she goes!

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Another Sephora Nail polish remover was used right up. Since I’ve talked about this before, I won’t go on much, but in case you missed my previous empties post, I love it. I think it was discontinued and I have a few new removers to try and report back on.

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This shampoo, I loved. I had it for at least a year and it worked for me until closer to the end. I love the fact that it had the pump to help me control how much to use. 2 pumps and I am good. The formula worked well for my routine and the bottle is huge. I can’t say I noticed extra volume which the bottle claims, but I still enjoyed it. The shampoo I use now is good of course but it feels like I use a lot more than I had to with this. I will miss it but it is time for a change.

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And finally, onto the make up. This empties, we have another dried up glitter liner liner. I bought this initially for for prom (almost 5 years ago now) to go with my dress. I am not sure if I ever wore it on prom (I will check for a picture though), but it matched beautifully and I wore it a few times before it dried. This was from Lise Watier which I own nothing else of, but have heard only good things. To go with this, I have the amazing Urban Decay Mascara. It hurt to have to depart with this mascara but it started to get flakey which I took as a sign to ditch. I hope to buy another full or sample size once I use up a few mascaras in my drawer. Lastly is this Fresh Sugar Rose tinted lip balm. Though I do really like these, I have to say they melt in any sort of heat. This one, I took to Cuba with me this year, so I am not shocked, but others have melted while enduring the summer in Canada where it hasn’t been insanely hot. I am guessing it it the metal packaging, but either way, I recommend keeping this in the fridge or cooler if it is hot where you are going.

Finally, we’ve hit the end. I hope that you enjoyed this rather lengthy post! Expect another before the end of January! I am not bringing and trash with me when I move.

Til next time, ttfn x

Taking Out The Trash 2014

Maybe it is just me being creepy and curious or maybe it really is fascinating, but I love empties videos and posts. So often, you get a huge mix of products from bath and body to skin care to candles and even food sneaks it’s way in there sometimes. It also gives people a chance to see what others use either so frequently that it gets used up or so infrequently that the product is no longer being made. A fully experienced review also comes with it.
Finally, my little basket was overflowing with stuff. I had tried to collect a baggie of trash before I was blogging and decided it would be my first blog post when I had enough to share but with everything that’s happened this year, that bag never really made it. So over these past 4 months, I started collecting again and have finally gathered enough skin care, hair, make up and more to get a good selection of products. I will be talking about my makeup & skin care below, but to see the rest, you’ll have to keep an eye on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!
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Let’s start off with some make up. Let me promise you right now that every single empties review will come with an Annabelle Skinny Eyebrow Pencil in Universal Medium. I go through these faster than any other product because I use it every single day. I keep one at home and one in my bag in case it’s raining or I’m stuck somewhere or whatever. I barely have ever even looked at another brow product because none could compare. I don’t think I can say that for any other single product since I switch out my products so frequently or else I’ll get board. But this stuff, I love. It works so flawlessly and matches my brow colour. I really could go on and on and on but then where would we be? (Probably the nearest drug store buying several..) Moving on…
Being a sample addict, I had a few little primers to use. I still have a big selection to go through but I did manage to finish a few: the Tarte Clean Slate Poreless Primer and Benefit Porefessional. I could be one of the few who feel this way, but I really don’t like the Porefessional Primer but I am not too shocked. My needs in a primer are to keep me matte and keep my make up in place. This stuff like most other primers I’ve used only makes me more oily, though it does give me a smoother surface and keeps my make up on my face. It just slides everywhere. As for the Tarte Clean Slate Poreless Primer, I actually liked it more than I thought. It was silicone feeling but thicker and less slick than others I have tried. I still did have issues being oily though so unfortunately, nether if these will be returning to my collection.
Next up, we have a few sample mascaras. I tend to keep these small mascaras or lipsticks in my purse in case I have to run out without make up on or forgot to put some on that day, so they don’t get used quickly. Make Up Forever Smoky Extravagant mascara was not my cup of tea. I think my biggest problem was the brush. Not that I ever had issues with application, but I never seemed to have bold lashes or even somewhat bold lashes. They just kind of looked blunt and weird. The Marc Jacobs mascara (I have no idea what formula) was better but taking it off was such a pain. It was very wet which works for me but it started to irritate my eyes so I tossed it.
Lastly for make up is this glitter liner from Aco which I believe is the Ardene’s brand. This has dried up because I got it so long ago. At least while I was in high school (4 years ago!). In my Sephora haul though, I got a set of 5 liners, one of which is very similar so I won’t miss it.

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For skin care, I have a whole bunch of different things so I will try not to ramble. From left to right, the Korres Pomegranate Deep Cleansing Scrub did nothing for me. It smells great but the exfoliating beads which look a lot like strawberry seeds, were a big pain. The Sephora Green Tea Sheet Mask worked pretty well. It was relaxing but it did irritate a break out that I was having at the time. I absolutely loved the Vichy ProEven Dark Spot Correcting lotion. It was recommended to me to help with some acne scarring and it made a big big difference. The only issue I had with it was the tube which split about half way through use. This wasted a fair bit of product because extra came out every time I used it. If you have been following my blog for a few weeks, you know exactly how I feel about the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance pads. The short of it is that I will not be repurchasing them. Murad is next and this is some of my favourite moisturizer ever. I already have a bottle lined up to use. I have to say that I love the Murad Essential C and Acne lines a lot. They work for my skin and are very clearly great quality products at a great price. You get a whole lot of product for between $30-$70, but they frequently have small packs were you can try all of the products. That is what I had done in this case. Lastly is similar to the Murad line. I went to the U.S. and picked up the Clinique Oily Skin Care trio to try. Though I didn’t care much for the toner, I am head over heels for the cleanser. I will be picking up a full size once I have used up some of my other cleansers.
There it all is! My new pile of trash has already started to build up (mark my words, it is going to be very candle heavy) so expect one maybe even before the end of December! Don’t forget to find my other empties throughout my social media! In case you didn’t know, I have quite a few! Links below.

Til next time, ttfn x