Category: Skin Care

Holiday 2017: Skin Care Gifts

Skin Care gifts are some of the most coveted presents but also sometimes the hardest. Everyone has a different skin type or need, so this list has a little something for everyone.

Sunday Riley – Bright Young Thing


Winter does a great job of drying out our skin and make it look dull. This adorable set of minis from Sunday Riley will brighten you right back up. Start with the Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment to exfoliate, add C.E.O Rapid Flash Brightening Serum and finish off with Tidal Water Cream and you’ll end up with skin that glows. Even in the middle of a snow storm.

Avon A Box For Fall Moisture

Fall might be over but this little kit will take care of a good chunk of your skin care issues. With cuticle and lip conditioners, a hand cream and a Moisture Therapy body wash and lotion duo, you’ll be covered head to toe. I love the triangle box it comes in as well.

Fresh Picture Perfect Mask Set

If you’re like me and love Fresh’s face masks, you’re going to adore this gift. It includes their Rose Face Mask, Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask and Umbrian Clay Purifying Mask. Plus you get two coloured pencils to colour in the gift box while you’re waiting to take off your masks.

Korres Greek Beauty Sleep Set

There’s really nothing I love more than skin care that works while I sleep (less work for me!) and  this little gift set is amazing good at hydrating and brightening your skin while you sleep. It has their Wild Rose Vitamin C Brightening Oil and the matching Wild Rose Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial. If you want to wake up to magically transformed skin, you need to get this.

Burt’s Bees Travel Essentials

If you’re shopping for someone who travels a lot, this is a great little bag to help them take care of their skin. Inside the carry-on friendly bag is Milk & Honey Body Lotion, Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream, Facial Cleansing Towelettes, Beeswax Lip Balm and a Coconut & Pear Lip Balm. It’s great for a family trip because kids can use these as well.

Makeup Most Wanted November 2017

It literally feels like it was just yesterday that I was writing my Most Wanted of October and now I’m onto the November list. We have a ton of posts coming up this month with all things holiday, so it was fairly hard to narrow down the list of what I used in November, but it turns out these have been taking up space next to sink for quite a while and that means I’ve been using them a lot.

Matrix Biolage R.A.W. Frizz Control Styling Spray with Lavender

I’m constantly looking for anything that’ll take away my frizz and this lightweight spray does a good job of minimizing it without making my hair crunchy or sticky. I find I need to use this one with another product for various styling issues but I can use it to touch up dry hair and it smells really really good. That said, if you’re not a fan of lavender, I’d stay away.

nia Sunday Detox Whipped Clay Peel-Off Mask

nia is StriVectin’s millenial friendly skin care line that’s available at Ulta in the U.S. or Shoppers Drug Mart/Murale in Canada. All the products have really cute names and better yet, they work. This mask has a definitely learning curve. It starts off as a foam and dries down so that you can peel it off. You need enough product that you’re able to peel it off but the foam makes that tricky. The best way I’ve found to do it is layers. I do about three thin layers of foam (you’ll have to wash your hands between each one) and let them dry for about 30 seconds before adding more. Once it’s dry though, it’s the gentlest peel-off mask I’ve ever used. I can get the whole thing off in one piece and even if I get a bit in my hair line, I don’t feel it tugging off. If your skin is on the drier side, you might need a richer moisturizer after.

Glossier Cloud Paint in Dusk

As someone who generally prefers a powder blush I was really surprised at how much I love this cream one. I shouldn’t really be too surprised though, I haven’t tried anything I haven’t loved from Glossier. I prefer the Dusk shade, it’s a peachy shade that’s really neutral, even on my super fair skin. You really only need a tiny bit of Cloud Paint. Squeezing the tube is going to get you way too much, so I just gently shake it over my finger. Layering is super easy and it’s extremely blendable.

Too Faced Just Peachy Mattes Palette

I am really not a fan of this red/pink eyeshadow trend, so I wasn’t sure if I would love this palette as much in person as I did online. But I really do. Peach Butter makes the perfect base shade, while Fresh-Picked and Peach Cobbler are great crease shades for me. I still haven’t really gotten into the darker shades yet but I’ve been using this delicious peach-smelling palette exclusively for daytime. As usual with Too Faced, the shadows are really creamy, blendable and have zero fallout that I’ve seen.

Winter Sunscreen Most Wanted

Skin care and the need for sunscreen doesn’t stop just because summer is over. Fall and winter skin care are just as important. Pick up these end of summer sunscreen’s to ward off burns, when you least expect them:

Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Sunscreen – This Aveeno sunscreen really impressed me. I shared it with four people with different skin types and protection needs. From the pale redhead to the tanned brunette, everyone agreed that this was a great sunscreen. It applies dry and doesn’t leave any smell or residue. The best part is that we all came home without any burns at all!

La Roche Posay Anthelios XL Stick Sunscreen – This is going to be my personal go-to when winter comes. When I’m all covered up with winter gear, I will still need protection on my face. This sunscreen stick is light and feels like you are wearing nothing at all. It’s small enough to fit in my purse and with SPF 60, I know I can trust it.

MyChelle Dermaceuticals Sun Shield – For a sunscreen that’s as good to the environment, as it is for your skin this is the one for you. It’s totally unscented for those who need something like that. This one is a thicker cream and it stays damp for a bit longer. So don’t count this one out, because it’s strong.

Neutrogena Dry-Touch Sunscreen – The name and package is a bit misleading, but nevertheless, this might be my favourite sunscreen on the list. It’s not really “dry-touch” since it takes a while to truly dry. It also claims to be ultra-light, but it’s by far the lightest here. It also has that sunscreen smell that will remind you of the beach. I like this one because it feels moisturizing and rich, while also protecting my skin. I wouldn’t like it for the beach, because sand would probably stick to my skin, but it’s perfect for a day out in the sun.

Nivea Body Oil

We’ve all known for years that body oil is great for you skin in so many ways. Nivea is finally joining this game with their own body oil. I feel like for the most part this category doesn’t have many big brand names, but instead cult products. It will be interesting to see how the Nivea Body Oil holds up in the long run.

Nivea’s Body Oil has a light perfumed scent. I do hope that they bring out an unscented version, because I would rather have more natural smelling oil.

Nevermind the smell though, because it’s more about the oil performance on the skin. I love that the bottle releases this body oil only a few drops at a time. There is minimal risk of pouring out too much. It goes on the skin really smooth. It dries much quicker than I expected. As long as you don’t use too much, it doesn’t even leave any type of residue on your skin and hands. It just leaves your skin with a natural looking glow.

I can’t speak to the effectiveness of reducing stretch marks or firming the skin. If it works like other body oils though, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Those are fairly common benefits of using oils.

Nivea impressed me with their Body Oil, but people already have their favourites, so I don’t know if they will be willing to make the switch.

Fall Skincare Most Wanted

Fall is my favourite time of year but it’s also the trickiest time for my crazy combination skin. I get greasy and dry patches all at the same time. It’s also not really time for a heavy duty moisturizer but my lightweight one just doesn’t feel like enough. Here’s how I’m changing up my skin care for fall this year.

Nivea Creme Care Facial Cleansing Wipes

There’s nothing I like more than a facial wipe but I’ve noticed some of them are drying out my skin a little more, now that it’s slightly less oily. Enter Nivea’s Creme Care wipes. These are super soft, get every bit of my makeup off and yet don’t leave my skin dried out. I would even go so far as to say they’re comforting. I’m going to be using these all winter.

m-61 PowerGlow Peel

The word peel has always terrified me in terms of exfoliation. My skin is so sensitive that burning is always a fear in the back of my mind but at the same time, I love trying new things and I figured if I had a bad experience with these, I could always hand them off to Steph. To my absolute shock, not only did these exfoliating wipes, not burn, they barely even tingled. The glycolic and salicylic acid wipes also have vitamin K, bilberry and chamomile and are meant to help reduce pore size, reduce the appearance of fine lines, help dry patches and basically just even out your skin tone. Boy, do I love when things work as promised. My dry patches are way smaller, my skin is more even and my pores, well, they’re never going to look great, but they look a little better.

L’Occitane Pivoine Sublime Overnight Perfecting Mask

On nights that my skin needs a little more, something, I use this overnight mask from L’Occitane and wake up with brighter, smoother skin. To say this mask is perfecting is kind of a perfect description. I’ve even used it mid-afternoon to get nicer looking skin for a night out. You can buy these individually or in a six pack but you really don’t need a lot. I can get three or four uses out of a pod and just tape it shut until I’m ready to use it again.

Tarte Pout Prep Lip Exfoliant

With fall comes more liquid lipsticks and my lips are pretty much a mess, thanks to certain ones I’ve been testing out. Eventually I’ll do a lip scrub post but lately the only one working for me has been Tarte’s Pout Prep. It gives me a really good sugar scrub while the maracuja and shea butter moisturize. I’m pretty sure I’m going to need to stock up on these for winter.

Olay Age Defying Hydrating Gel Moisturizer

Finding a good moisturizer for fall always seems to be an issue for me. Either they’re too moisturizing in spots or not enough in others. So far, Olay’s gel moisturizer is doing the job really well. It’s lightweight and oil-free, which is great for the oily parts of my skin and the hyaluronic acid is good for the drier parts. Will I be able to use it into winter? I’m not sure yet. But considering September in Toronto still feels like summer, this refreshing gel-cream will last me a while.

Bleu Lavande Face Cleansers

The Bleu Lavande Cleansing Water and Cleansing Milk give your face the kind of clean that even the softest and gentlest skin will love. This pair of gentle face cleansers are soothing and gentle on your skin while cleaning.

The Bleu Lavende Cleansing Water is thin and leaves no residue on your face. It has the properties and scent of lavender water which really soothes your skin and makes it feel refreshed. It makes your skin feel clean without drying it out or irritating. As a micellar water, you don’t need to rinse. It’s really easy to use, no matter how lazy you are.

If you can’t get enough, you can also try the Cleansing Milk. This Bleu Lavende face cleanser is a creamy version, but still just as easy to use. Because it’s creamy and milky, I was worried about not having to rinse. It turns out it’s just as light on your skin. This cleanser was more moisturizing, probably thanks to the addition of honey.

No matter which gentle skin cleaner you choose from Bleu Lavende you can’t really go wrong.

Makeup Most Wanted June 2017 – Alyssa’s Picks

I’ve used so many new products in the past month that this list could be massive. Which makes these five pretty great considering how much they stood out to me. June is always a weird month for my skin and considering how humid Toronto has been, it’s needed all the help it could get.

Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash with Shea Butter

I’ve been using this body wash since winter, sometimes in other scents but mostly this one. The super creamy formula works for both winter AND summer. It’s really hydrating, doesn’t leave me sticky and just makes my skin feel really smooth. We have a couple body washes to test out but this is probably always going to be the one I buy when I run out. I particularly love the Shea Butter scent but there are really so many options.

Yes To Cotton Comforting Facial Wipes

I haven’t used a ton of Yes To products before, but I’m completely obsessed with these facial wipes. They might actually be the softest wipes I’ve ever used, but I guess that’s where the cotton comes in. Made with recycled cotton and cottonseed oil, these wipes are great for sensitive skin and for people who have a ton of allergies. There is a scent but it’s pretty faint and these get all my makeup and grime off. I definitely need to try more of this line.

Too Faced Sweet Peach Glow Peach-Infused Highlighting Palette

I don’t do contouring or highlighting as a general rule. I’m so fair that all bronzers look muddy or dirty and most highlighters just make me shinier or disappear into the redness of my cheeks. So I was mainly using this palette for the peachy blush in the middle (my favourite blush shade right now). Until I decided to try contouring with it just to see. It worked! Sweet Peach Glow is officially the only palette that I can use for contouring. Both the highlighter and bronzer are subtle enough for my fair skin but are also buildable. Everything just looks natural. And it smells like peaches!

Vichy Mineral 89

If you’re like me and you live off of Vichy’s Thermal Water all summer, you definitely need to try this gel version. Vichy calls it a skin booster, I call it a refreshing gel version of the water. It’s basically just Vichy’s Thermal Water with some hyaluronic acid. A skin brightening, hydrating gel if you will. You can use it on literally any part of your face including the eye contour and lips. I tend to use it right after I wash my face, before I use anything else. You can use it with a cotton pad, but I use my fingers. I still use the spray throughout the day but I find this much more effective as part of a skin care routine.

Garnier SkinActive Moisture Rescue Actively Hydrating Daily Lotion

Since my skin is a bi-polar version of combination, the moisturizer I use for my super dry skin in winter, does not work for my mostly oily skin in summer. This moisturizer is light enough to help my oily skin, while still balancing out my dry spots. It absorbs really quickly and is great for sensitive skin. It’s also fragrance-free for those of you who need it. This is a seriously great summer moisturizer for me.

The Magic Pads Review

Do you remember your days as a teen using acne pad to clear your skin? When I started using The Magic Pads, I felt like I was having a flashback of those days. Back then those pads used to severely dry out my skin and even give me a rash, so there was definitely some concern in my head. Luckily this was a much better experience. The Magic Pads are SO easy to use. You can literally use them any time that you need a quick cleanse. I loved using them in the morning to refresh my skin before my routine. They don’t have an overpowering smell. They don’t dry out my skin. They help with pesky blemishes and tighten up your pores. They aren’t just for your face either. You can use them anywhere. I love them for my neck and chest. I even read reviews about people using them on their feet. I feel like Magic Pads are one of those little secrets that beauty editors and makeup artists keep to themselves, but it’s time for these to be in everyone’s arsenal.

Avène Ysthéal Intense Quickie Review

Since I hit my mid-thirties, I’ve been paying a lot more attention to anti-aging skincare. I have a lot of issues yet but I know they’re coming. Avène’s Ysthéal Intense is just that, intense. Made for anti-aging, people who have had recent skin treatments and people who just want better looking, hydrated skin; this nighttime moisturizer seriously covers all the bases. I have combination skin with definite dry patches and a couple tiny lines but other than that I didn’t really think I had anything that had to be corrected. The first week I tried Ysthéal Intense, I didn’t notice much of a difference. Sure my skin felt really nice in the morning and looked pretty good but two weeks later, all that changed.

All of a sudden, I noticed that my skin looked way more even and smooth. I didn’t even know I wanted it to be more smooth! After almost a month of using it on a fairly regular basis, I’m seriously impressed with the results. That said, if I’m going to continue using Avène for anti-aging, I might consider switching to the regular Ysthéal because the Intense formula is a little too much for my combination skin, especially in this crazy Toronto humidity. I can literally feel it drawing the moisture into my face, to the point where I look like I’m sweating. I’m definitely retrying this one in the winter because I feel like it’ll be perfect then. Until then, this is going to be my little secret for times when I want my skin to look amazing.

Spring Skin Care Most Wanted

Skyn Iceland Brightening Eye Serum – This eye serum isn’t just small in size, but also price. It’s unique, in that it is more like a gel than any other eye product I’ve used before. It feels really moisturizing around my eyes. Skyn Iceland says it’s meant to relax the skin and boost collagen, all meaning you can say goodbye to lines. I’ve had such success with Skyn Iceland in the past, I don’t doubt them at all.

Dermalogica Phyto Replenish Oil – If you want a little splurge that will last a long time, try this face oil from Dermalogica. You already know and trust the brand when you get a facial. Get that same moisture with this little oil. You can wear it alone or add it to your daily moisturizer to add a massive boost of hydration to your skin. This face oil is a little bit oily on my skin when worn alone, but you don’t notice it as much when mixed with other products. It does feel refreshing and give my face that nice dewy feel that I just want to touch.

Garnier Skin Active Clearly Brighter Gentle Smoothing Scrub – Garnier’s Skin Active Smoothing Scrub is everything my face wants in a daily face wash. It’s gentle enough to use every day, but tough enough that I feel really clean afterwards. I like that it’s not heavily scented. It even uses sustainable argan, so I can feel a bit better about using it. I do find that it dries out my face a bit, but that just gives me the opportunity to use some of those really super moisturizing creams. For this price, it’s just what my wallet wants for skin care too.

Strivectin Overnight Replenishing Moisture Mask – When in need of a burst of just straight moisture, this Strivectin Overnight Mask is an easy solution. Apply a generous layer on your face before bed and you are sure to wake up feeling extra moisturized. If you are like me, you might worry about getting cream all over your pillow. The Strivectin cream does absorb enough that by the time I was actually putting my head down, my fears were pretty much gone. I feel like this mask is the perfect secret skin care weapon. Personally, it’s not something that I need to use 2 or 3 times a week, but maybe once a month I could get my moisture on with Strivectin.