Category: Skin Care

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.

MyChelle Dermaceuticals Most Wanted

Everyone wants to be eco-friendly and natural nowadays, but MyChelle Dermaceuticals has been doing things the sustainable way for years. They were making natural beauty products before it was a buzz word. I’m excited to have finally been introduced to MyChelle, because it’s better late than never to join in the MyChelle revolution. All of the products that I’ve tried so far have been stars, but here are some of the highlights.

MyChelle Refining Sugar Cleanser – This cleaner uses real sugar to get a deep clean on your skin. Real Sugar! You can smell the sweetness mixed with the other ingredients. You can also customize how rough you want this cleaner on your face. Use just a little water for deep exfoliation with those grains of sugar. If you want a gentler wash, add more water and it turns into foam with soft exfoliating.

MyChelle Remarkable Retinal Serum – Most serums I find too heavy for my skin. I hate layering things on in the day. But this MyChelle serum is different because it’s made to apply at night! Even better is that I didn’t wake up with greasy feeling skin. It absorbs nicely leaving me fresh faced in the morning.

MyChelle Supreme Polypeptide Cream – Of all of these products, this is probably my least favourite. It’s not because it is bad. This is the least unique and different product. This is more of your standard face cream. It’s really moisturizing and thick. It leaves your skin feeling refreshed without residue. It’s here because it is a strong product, but it’s not outstanding like some of the others.

MyChelle Remarkable Retinal Eye Cream – I never would have thought that I would stumble upon my favourite eye cream of all time here, but this is it. This is probably the first time that I’ve applied an eye cream and seen results within hours. This cream you also apply before bed, and I could see results in the dark circles by the time I woke up. A few days into using it and I am still seeing great results. Bravo MyChelle!!

Makeup Most Wanted April 2017 – Alyssa’s Picks

Thanks to going on vacation and Passover, I’m super behind on a lot of my posts but now that things have slowed down, I have a lot of new products that I’m using on a regular basis and in April, these ones were used more than most.

Batiste Dry Shampoo in Lotus

Before I cut my hair in March, using a dry shampoo was a tricky thing for me but if I used one, it was generally Batiste related. We received a couple new scents just in time for me to start using dry shampoo on a regular basis and Lotus is hands down my favourite Batiste dry shampoo yet. The description is pretty and opulent but all I can say is that it smells completely amazing. It’s a little fruity, a little floral and I really want to use it as a room spray (but I won’t waste it). It also works at giving me major volume, while freshening up my roots.

Vichy Idéalia Smoothness & Glow Mattifying Sorbet-Cream

I loved the original Idéalia line, but Vichy recently reformulated and added new products to it. While, I’ve noticed most people pick the Night Peeling as their favourite, mine is this lightweight moisturizer. Smoothness & Glow Mattifying Sorbet-Cream is pretty much the perfect description for it. It comes out really soft and refreshing like a sorbet, melts into your skin instantly and keeps me pretty matte. It also gives me a really nice, subtle glow and has the same gorgeous almost raspberry like scent that I associate with the Idéalia line. This is going to be a great moisturizer for my combination skin this summer.

Garnier Fructis Moisture Lock 10-In-1 Rescue Leave-In Detangler

Now that my hair is shorter, it’s much easier to style, especially since I generally let it air dry. But it’s still curly and frizzy and this leave-in treatment from Garnier Fructis helps me detangle it gently and starts to minimize frizz. I do use other styling products with it but I can use it on it’s own and still like how my hair looks. The matching Moisture Lock shampoo and conditioner are good too but I like this detangler the most of the three. Using it on dry hair to refresh my curls also works, but if it’s too close to when I have to wash my hair, it gets a touch greasy.

Yves Saint Laurent Kiss & Blush Duo Stick in From Prude To Nude

I’m really a big fan of multi-tasking makeup and the Kiss & Blush Duo Stick from YSL gives you a ton of options. The YSL website alone has twelve suggestions for cheeks and lips, not to mention you could totally use this as eyeshadow in a pinch. From Prude to Nude is a rose nude/mocha nude combo that combined gives me both a nice blush shade and a great nude lip for my complexion but I generally use it as a blush. It’s super tiny but you really don’t need to use a lot and it’s so easy to throw in your purse for touchups. And you’ll probably need a couple touchups in the summer because of the super creamy formula. The price is a little steep at $40, but not surprising considering it’s YSL, but you can get a ton of uses out of it, so it might actually save you from buying a couple other things in the long run.

Tarte TarteGuard Tinted Moisturizer

It’s been a long time that I have loved a product as much as I love this new Tarte Tinted Moisturizer. Unlike a lot of products, it literally does everything that I want it to and it arrived on beauty shelves just in time for summer.

Once you start using Tarteguard Tinted Moisturizer, you will be protecting your skin on so many levels. First as a moisturizer, it keeps your skin moisturized without getting oily. It absorbs quickly leaving your skin glowing, but not moist. It has very little scent, which is nice for those of us who hate perfumed moisturizers.  It’s also packed full of great ingredients like vitamin A, vitamin E and apple extract, all protecting your face from the day.

As a tinted face product, this has just the right amount of coverage. I am a solid foundation lover. I usually avoid tinted moisturizer because it leaves me wanting more. This one has the perfect amount of sheer coverage. Pair it with a dab of concealer on those problem areas and you are ready to go. It gives a nice even look that lasts all day. The light-medium tone was good for winter, but as I have been getting more sun lately, I am going to move up to the medium. I am surprised there isn’t a darker option for people with darker skin, who still want a Tarte Tined Moisturizer. I think that’s a huge miss from Tarte, that should be addressed.

Finally, since it’s a part of the TarteGuard collection, this also has SPF 20 Sunscreen included. You might think that’s nothing, but as far as tinted moisturizers from makeup companies go, this one is pretty good. I took this on vacation to Miami with me this spring and didn’t get a burn on my face at all. Usually my face is the first place to show colour.

Overall, since the first time I used this Tarte moisturizer I have been hooked. Now I just have to make it last all summer.

March Makeup Most Wanted

Spring into a new season with these March makeup products that I have been obsessed with this month.

Covergirl Outlast All-Day Custom Reds Lip Color – I have tried a lot of lipsticks that said they were going to last a long time, but Covergirl has finally done it. This two-step lip color is the longest lasting lipstick that I’ve ever tried. It’s really simple, you just apply the colour first, wait a minute and then apply the clear coat over top. Boom! You have lipstick that will last all day. I even had a hard time getting it off of my lips. I fell asleep with lipstick on one night and it was still on the next morning! This lipstick is UNREAL! The red shades that I tried were quiet bold, but really beautiful.

Rodial Baking Powder – I’m not going to lie, I don’t really get the idea of baking. I also don’t have time to bake my makeup before leaving the house. That doesn’t make my love of this powder any less. Instead of baking my makeup and dusting it off later, I have been using it as a finishing powder. I just dust a light layer over my foundation before I leave the house for a minor bake. Forget the long lasting powder of the bake, I love the matte finish that my skin gets when I use it. Clearly this powder is super versatile, making it key in my makeup bag.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cream – Finally, a super moisturizing gel cream for extra dry skin that doesn’t feel heavy on my face. I fell in love with gel moisturizers because it is perfect for my skin. I get dry skin, but I also have acne. I need all the same anti-aging and boosting properties, but my skin can’t handle heavy thick moisturizers. I get greasy very easily. Neutrogena lets me get a major moisture boost without that issue. It absorbs into my skin leaving it feeling dry and matte, but also soft. This one is for anyone who is sick of fighting with moisturizers and their skin. Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost is the saving grace this winter.

Sebastian Volupt Spray High Impact Volume – I used to love spray gel in high school. It was probably the only product that I used, and I used it every day. Since then I’ve moved on to other products, but getting this newer product was like meeting an old friend. I love this product because it gives you hold without making my hair stiff. It’s really nice on curls or beach waves to get a hold without the crunch of mousse.

Herbal Essences Bio:Renew Shampoo & Conditioner – Herbal Essences new hair care collection Bio:Renew sounds very fancy in the description. It’s made with a special blend of antioxidants, aloe and sea kelp. It’s supposed to bring your hair back to life in 21 days (although it doesn’t say how many washes that is). I love it because, while it has all of those great properties, it still feels like classic Herbal Essences. The Coconut Milk scent smells amazing. My hair looks great, it’s shiny and easy to manage. I can’t ask for anything else!

Brompton & Langley Hand Cream: Quick Review

If you are looking for a fun imported product that isn’t going to break the bank. Check out Brompton & Langley. I tried their Hand Cream and Body Wash with equally lovely results. This UK brand comes in soft scents like Sweet Pea Jasmine, Almond Milk and Vanilla Honeysuckle. The scents are really subtle, but leave your skin feeling soft and lush. They make a great Mother’s Day gift.

At-Home Spa Day Most Wanted

Sometimes a girl just needs an at-home spa day for a little pampering with all of your favourite new bath, body and beauty products, candles and a glass of wine. Here are a few products to add to your supple for the perfect spa day at home:

Live Clean Dead Sea Salts – Soothe tired muscles on your at-home spa day with a long bath with these Live Clean Dead Sea Salts. They have Epsom salts, green tea extracts, aloe vera, Eucalyptus essential oils and Ginger. All of this combines for soothed muscles. The scent is strong, but really relaxing at the same time. It’s perfect for helping you forget that busy week.

Avon Foot Works Clay Mask – A spa day wouldn’t be complete without a little foot pampering. Short of having someone to give you a pedicure in your living room, this foot clay mask is the best thing to do. I’ve tried lots of clay masks for my face, but never for my feet. The feeling is pretty similar. Be sure that you are sitting somewhere good, because you won’t be able to walk around. You will need to clean your feet off wherever you are. The lavender smell is nice and relaxing while you wait. I didn’t expect much in the way of results, but my feet were very soft after just 10 minutes or so with this on.

Arbonne Tahitian Coconut Lip Therapy Set – You don’t usually get to pamper your lips, but it feels so good when you do. The Lip Smoother is a coconut exfoliator that will help clean up all of that dead skin from winter. The Lip Salve is an oil based balm that softens and moisturizes. It’s a nice treat for your lips to feel soften and fresh.

Claus Porto Soap Gift Box – This is the MOST beautiful soap that I’ve ever owned. The white box with the art deco logo is the first signal that you are in for a treat. No matter how many times I opened it to see the three soaps inside, I was never not in awe. The packaging for each of these German soaps is a work of art in itself. Almost too beautiful to use. When you have had your time with the box, be ready for a nice treat with this soft smelling soap in the tub. Spoil yourself, or someone that you love a lot, with these soaps for every occasion.

Skyn Iceland All Eyes On You Treatments – Skyn Iceland has some of my favourite eye products. They always make them nice and cooling and soothing so that my eyes feel relaxed. This set includes an Icelandic Relief Eye Pen, Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels and Glacial Cleansing Cloths. This means you can pamper yourself with the gels now and have the cloths and pen for your regular everyday use.

StriVectin Spring Most Wanted

There are very few products I’ve tried from StriVectin that I didn’t automatically love but the combination of their newest products is pretty fantastic. The Multi-Action Active Infusion You Serum combined with the Multi-Action Stress Defense Water Gel did things for my skin pretty much immediately.

The Youth Serum has has encapsulated NIA (StriVectin’s propietary technology) spheres that release into a thin serum. I find it a little sticky until it dries, which isn’t long at all, but once it absorbs you really can’t feel anything on your skin. This serum is supposed to smooth lines, firm, strengthen the skin barrier and give you instant luminosity. I don’t have a lot of lines on my face but I can definitely say that my skin is definitely luminous. Of course after any serum you need a good moisturizer.

The Water Gel was definitely nothing like I was expecting. It literally looks like a gel made of water and absorbs so quickly, sometimes I wonder if I ever got it on my face. Luckily it smells so good that I can tell. I find I need a little bit more than I usually apply for a moisturizer but considering it starts working within seconds, I’m ok with that. The Water Gel leaves my skin feeling fresh and hydrated and it seriously glows. If you have extremely dry skin though, this might not be strong enough for you. On my drier days, I find I have to use a much stronger moisturizer at night but I have a feeling this will be perfect for spring and summer.

It’s really the combination of the two products that I love. When I use the Youth Serum before the Water Gel, my skin just looks incredible. I’ve noticed dry patches disappearing and I’ve gotten a ton of compliments on my skin. I really love when skincare does what it says it will and so far StriVectin has kept their promise with everything. If you’re looking for some freshness in your skin for spring, this might be the duo for you.