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

August 2015 Favourites & Unfavourites

It’s the end of summer! These past few days and weeks, our household is looking ahead to fall. It’s all a little crazy to think about how fast 2015 has gone but I am getting pumped for the coming season! This past month, I was really into natural make up so I have a lot of basics. It’s time to take a look back at what products I loved and didn’t love so much for the past month.

First off, I have a foundation and primer. This Rimmel Stay Matte Primer and Benefit Hello Flawless foundation don’t work very good together unfortunately, but with other products, I have loved the results. The Rimmel Primer really keeps my face mattified and keeps the foundation and concealer on my face where it should be. I definitely like how it looks with the L’Oreal True Match! Make Up Forever Ultra HD foundation (review coming soon) or Rimmel Clean Finish Matte foundation so far but with the Benefit foundation, it ends up feeling cakey and making my skin a little dry looking (which I have never had happen).

This Benefit Hello Flawless foundation is actually my #1 foundation and one of the only Benefit products I really love. Their fairest shade in I’m Pure 4 Sure Ivory colour matches me perfectly, feels great, has good coverage and wear time and isn’t totally matte or totally dewy. If you have a yellow undertone, take a look at this collection of foundations because chances are, they will match you beautifully.

One of my recent brush favourites is one of the first brushes I ever owned and that is the Ecotools Stippling brush. I love using it with my cream blushes and have been just about every day. The application is perfect using this because it only picks up a bit of product with the longer bristles and then blends everything out using the short bristles. I haven’t seen any other stipping brush quite like this before. The size is perfect and the dramatic difference in bristle lengths makes this perfect for me!

This is more of a concealer routine favourite that I have for you. I have been using the Maybelline Fit Me concealer in Fair under the eyes and blending it out with the Ecotools Eye Perfection brush. I then set it with the Bare Minerals powder concealer in Well Rested with the perfectly fitting Real Techniques Contour brush. I love the effect this. It stays all day with very minimal creasing, is quick and easy to apply, has amazing coverage and the only thing I can see as a con is that it might not be brightening enough for some people. I do switch out the concealer often enough if I want more coverage or a brighter look but the brushes and powder are absolutely phenomenal.

One product I have discovered I really don’t like is the L’Oreal Miss Manga mascara. This does nothing for me. I have used it a few times hoping that it will impress me and it just kind of flops. It creates really thick lashes that go everywhere and doesn’t add length though it does have some lift. It also stinks which I can look passed if I liked the mascara but…no.

August was the month of negative space manicures for me. I purchased a few Vinyl nail strips from Beyond the Nail at the end of July and since they arrived, I have been using them every time I paint my nails. The effect is really awesome and these make the process a million times easier then doing it free hand or using tape. Speaking of nails though, I have finally come to the conclusion I don’t like the Revlon Diamond Strength top coat. My nails do have more shine when I use it but unless I use 2 or more coats, my nails just chip. It doesn’t make my nail polish look an smoother or last much longer. With 2 coats, it gets a little gloopy and takes a while to dry. Even glitter nail polish chips off after a day or two with 2 layers.

My skin care favourite is probably no surprise if you read the review I just recently posted. The Reversa Solution for oily and acne proned skin is my #1 toner. I love it. You can’t argue with the results I have had. I will be posting an updated skin care routine next week to round up all of the amazing skin care finds I have been using lately to heal my face and reduce my acne and scarring so stay tuned.

A rather odd favourite I have had this month is lipgloss. I noticed that I completely ran out of one of my Bite Beauty lip glosses near the beginning of the month and that set off an obsession with wearing all of these different lip glosses. I didn’t realize I was using it so much before but obviously if I finished a tube then I must have been applying it pretty frequently.

That’s everything! I predict that my September favourites will have a few fall items hanging around. I also see a certain concealer making its way in there!

Til next time, ttfn x

Finding an Acne Solution ft Reversa

Skin care has been top of mind this month. I have talked about some discontinued gems, my current cleanser and what products I thought were worth their hefty price tag. Behind the scenes, I have also been trying out some new (to me) skin care that I really wanted to share. Let’s talk toner.

I haven’t found a toner that has done a whole lot for me. I think toners are such a cool product because you can really see all of the dirt and grime that you’re getting off but the past few I have tried haven’t made my skin feel or look any different. They weren’t bad, but they were kind of unnecessary.

 

A very sweet person from Reversa contacted me asking about my skin care: what I used, what I thought helped and finally, whether I wanted to try one of their products. After taking a look at what they had to offer, how could I resist? The Reversa Solution for Oily and Acne-Prone skin**: A solution for acne, an exfoliating, multi use product with oil control and made in Canada; that gets my two thumbs up but only if it works of course!

Like many skin care products, the claims are amazing: brightens, smooths, acne-fighting, oil-free, tightens pores, clears blackheads and this one even claims to eliminate excess oils and fats. Very intriguing and right up my alley. What does it do? Well, I have been using it for around 2 weeks now and I can confirm that it does quite a bit of what it says. When applied as a toner, it does tingle and makes my skin feel clearer and almost more hydrated. Using this in combination with my favourite moisturizers, it also seems to be keeping my acne at bay with a few time-of-the-month exceptions. The one thing that sets this apart from most toners is that I do see a visible difference. My skin is much smoother, much cleaner, much brighter and much softer than before.

  

 

The Reversa Solution can be used as an all over the face toner or as a spot treatment for acne. It is specifically for adults struggling with acne (like myself) and contains 8% glycolic acid which to my knowledge, I had never used before. I tend to use it as a toner but when I focus it in my trouble spots, I notice a difference the very next day. It can be used daily and nightly which is what I have been doing after I cleanse my skin.

Overall, I really love what it is doing for my skin. I think it is a very fair price for what it does at $37. It can also be purchased at Shoppers Drug Mart! Can’t get much better than that. If you have similar acne issues, give this a try and I am sure you won’t be disappointed!

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 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