Category: Skin Care

Products For A Cause With Lush And L’Occitane

Lush and L’Occitane are two companies that are known for giving back. Lush’s Charity Pot is a permanent product where the proceeds to go to different charities and L’Occitane has different causes they donate to each year. Right now, they each have a product out where the proceeds go to good causes. You’ll want to grab both of these before they run out!

Lush Hand Of Friendship Soap
Lush Hand Of Friendship Soap
Canada just accepted 25,000 Syrian refugees and 100% of the proceeds from Hand Of Friendship (minus taxes) will go to Lush’s Friendship Fund that supplies the relief to their most pressing needs. Hand Of Friendship is a sweet smelling (cherry blossom), highly moisturizing soap that lathers really well. I had to cut mine up to make it easier to use and I love the hand design so much I was really sad about it.

L’Occitane Solidarity Balm
Solidarity Balm Ultra Soft Balm
L’Occitane launched their Solidarity Balm just in time for Women’s Day on March 8th. 100% of the proceeds to this balm will finance NGO programs for women’s leadership in Burkina Faso with the support of the L’Occitane Foundation and it’s program ‘Women For Burkina.’ The balm itself it pretty amazing. Rose scented and full of Shea, this balm is perfect for lips, cuticles, hair or anywhere that your skin is dried out from winter. Considering it’s only $6, I’ll be stocking up on these.

I love when companies match products we’re going to buy anyways with giving us a chance to give back and these two are pretty amazing.

Caudalie Make-Up Removing Cleansing Oil

If I’m being totally honest, 80% of the time I take off makeup I use a cleansing cloth, or at least start with one. I love a good cleanser but I’m just really lazy. That said, my collection of cleansers and makeup removers is pretty astronomical and I was more than happy to try out Caudalie’s new Make-Up Removing Cleansing Oil. I generally love Caudalie products and was expecting pretty good things.
Caudalie Make-Up Removing Cleansing Oil
Made with sunflower, castor, sweet almond and grape seed oils, this cleanser is completely natural and didn’t irritate my sensitive skin at all. I don’t really like the scent but it’s light enough that it doesn’t bother me too much. It left my skin feeling really soft and smooth and not dried out at all. I only use a light moisturizer after.

This oil is thinner than most I’ve tried and is really runny. I had to move fast to keep it all from running off my hand. Once I applied to it my face and added water though, it turned into a really soothing milk. The first time I tried this, I was wearing a full face of makeup and mascara that wasn’t waterproof but still gives me a really hard time when I take it off.

The oil did a great job getting my face makeup and lipstick off but my mascara did nothing but smear around my entire face. I tried using more to get the mascara off but eventually had to give up and use another product to get it to move.

Overall, I do love this cleansing oil but I would only use it again on bare skin or if I’m wearing makeup that’s generally easy to take off.

St. Tropez Tanning Oils

St Tropez Self Tan Luxe Dry Oil

Oils are all the rage in beauty right now, so it was high time that we talked about the innovative oils from St. Tropez. Now your oil can moisturize and give you a bronze glow too thanks to the St. Tropez Self Tan Luxe Dry Oil and the Self Tan Luxe Facial Oil.

The oil is a great way to get a bronze glow without all of the commitment. You can also add some extra shimmer and shine to an existing tan (fake or real). If you have ever used a self-tanner then the luxe dry oil won’t be a surprise. You apply the oil in the exact same way using an applicator mitt on clean skin. It dries faster than most mousse tanners, so you can get dressed in just a few seconds.

You will get a glow with some golden shimmer right away. It lasts for about 10 days, but you can always reapply to extend your tan or darken it.

st tropez  Self Tan Luxe Facial Oil

For your face, St. Tropez has kindly developed a similar, but lighter version of their oil. Using the mini applicator mitt, you apply this oil to your clean face. Be sure to wait a few minutes before applying any makeup or anything over top. You may not notice the colour on your face right away, but don’t rush to any conclusions. The facial oil is more subtle. It takes time to slowly tan the skin. We recommend waiting until the next day to reapply if you want something a darker.

Like the dry oil, once you have reached a golden hue that you are happy with, this oil tan will last for about 10 days.

I love the ease of this product. Because it’s lighter oil, it is really easy to apply without worrying about streaks. It’s also nice to know that it doesn’t go on too dark. I don’t want to be left with a dark tan that looks bad. This St. Tropez oil allows me to choose how dark my tan is.

Acne Skin Care Tips From Neutrogena

If you are suffering from acne, it can be tricky to know which products are helping your skin and which are only making your skin condition worse. To get the fact, we turned to Neutrogena expert, Toronto dermatologist, Dr. Paul Cohen. Get ready to take notes and hit the stores to stock up!

NEUTROGENA Oil-Free Acne Wash

Q: When choosing skin care lines, are there ingredients that people with acne should look for?

A: It really depends on your skin type and on the severity of your acne. Most people who get acne will develop mild acne and this can usually be treated with OTC (over-the-counter) medications. OTC medications can be bought at a pharmacy without a doctor’s prescription and they are usually applied to the skin (e.g. topical medicines that most commonly contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid).

Benzoyl Peroxide helps kill bacteria and slows down your glands’ production of oil, and is a very commonly used antibiotic agent found in acne treatments. While benzoyl peroxide is a topical antibiotic, it is not something to which we can develop a resistance. Although Benzoyl peroxide can be very drying to sensitive skin types, it’s usually well-tolerated; however, the main downside is it can bleach clothing, pillow cases, sheet, towels, etc. and I usually like to warn my patients in advance of this.

Salicylic acid is an anti-inflammatory topical acne treatment derived from aspirin. Salicylic acid is good for cleaning the skin, and takes excess oil off when used for cleansing. It is good for the face and body too – especially since it doesn’t bleach clothing or towels. It can be drying and slightly irritating for people with sensitive skin, particularly people who have a condition like rosacea. I recommend the NEUTROGENA® Oil-Free Acne Wash for the face and body (it comes in a body wash that is great for the chest and back). The Pink Grapefruit version is great.

If your acne is more severe, you should see a derm. You should visit a derm when traditional over the counter products aren’t working, and when all of the “best practices” are being taken into account (wearing oil-free makeup, practicing proper hygiene, etc.) – but you are still having issues with acne flare-ups. Prescription medications for acne come in many forms, such as creams, lotions, etc. – and your dermatologist will decide what is best for you. You may be prescribed an oral or topical antibiotic for inflammation, or birth control pills if it’s hormonal.

Q: Are there ingredients that they should avoid?

A: For some acne-sufferers, it can be helpful to avoid oil-based makeups, moisturizing creams or lotions, as these contain oil, which can speed up the blocking of your pores.  Always look for products that are non-comedogenic, which will not block pores.

Q: There are many different types of skin care products (creams, foams, gels). Is there a type of skin care product people should use?

A: Look for oil-free, non-comedogenic skincare products. People with acne-prone skin tend to have oilier skin and tend to do better with gel-based products and more watery formulas, versus thick, rich creams. Gel-based products and foaming cleansers tend to have more alcohol in them, helping with drying the oil build-up in pores.

NEUTROGENA Oil-free Moisture SPF 15

Q: What are the top products someone with acne should use regularly?

A: A mild cleanser, a light and oil-free moisturizer. NEUTROGENA Oil-free Moisture SPF 15 is one of my favourites. Sunscreen – the sun can aggravate acne-prone skin – use sunscreen regularly. For acne-prone skin, look for oil-free sunscreens with a light, watery and fluid formula. One of my favourites is the NEUTROGENA ULTRA SHEER WATER-LIGHT Daily Face Sunscreen SPF 60. I would say to avoid clogged pores that lead to break outs, consistency is most important. I would also recommend a gel based or spray sunscreen that has alcohol and works well on more oily skin types.

Lush Valentine’s Day Collection 2016

Lush Valentine's 2016I always look forward to any kind of holiday collection from Lush and considering how much I enjoyed their Valentine’s Day products last year, I was really happy they brought most of them back and added a few, even more pink products.
Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar
Lush Unicorn Horn 2016
I was really happy they brought back Unicorn Horn, its super calming lavender and neroli scent is great and this one isn’t quite as sparkly as last year. It’s a really good size, so you’ll be able to break it up and get a few really bubbly baths out of it.
Prince Charming Shower Cream
Lush Prince Charming Shower Gel
Prince Charming is another returning product but instead of a shower gel, this year it’s a shower cream. From what I can tell, shower creams are pretty much the same as the gels, only a little more moisturizing. Either way, the delicious pomegranate-vanilla scent is the same and I’m going to be using this one pretty fast (and maybe stocking up on some more).
Roses All The Way Soap
Lush Roses All The Way
I love anything with rose in it, so I was thrilled to get this soap. I wish it was part of the permanent line up. It’s on the creamier side of the Lush soaps and the shape is so pretty, but a little difficult to work with. I actually cut it up into chunks to make it easier to use but other than the shape, this is basically my ideal Lush soap. Soft, creamy and smelling like roses.
The Kiss Lip Gloss
Lush The Kiss Lip Gloss
The Kiss was released last year in a tub and I still have a little left, even though it expires soon. This year’s version is almost exactly the same but in a tube. It has the same super sweet almond and tangerine scent and flavour with a hint of pink and shimmer. This one feels a little grainy going on but it smooths out and feels really moisturizing. I adore the fact that it’s in a tube and I hope this is a trend that Lush continues. One of the reasons I don’t buy their lip balms is because of the tubs.
The Kiss Lip Scrub
Lush The Kiss Lip Scrub
While I love Lush’s Lip Scrubs, the only flavour I’ve ever liked is Mint Juleps. But now that I have The Kiss, I have another one to love. It’s a pretty similar mandarin scent as The Kiss lip gloss but it also has edible red hearts in it. It’s scrubby, but not harsh and leaves your lips feeling really soft. The combination of The Kiss Lip Scrub, followed by the lip gloss, is basically perfection.

While I really liked Lush’s Valentine’s collection last year, I’m full on in love with it this year. I just wish some of these products were permanent.

L’Occitane Soothing & Comforting Skin Care

We could all use a little more comfort in our lives. L’Occitane is here to help with new products for soothing and comforting your skin during the driest and harshest skin season.

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Replace your regular moisturizer with the L’Occitane Soothing Fluid. I’m not sure why it’s called a fluid. This is a moisturizer with a similar creamy formula as some of your other favourites. It’s here to both comfort and protect sensitive skin. I don’t have sensitive skin, so I don’t usually use these types of products, but I have to say this is really nice. This moisturizer is extra light and airy. It has a light powder scent that is, dare I say, comforting. It dries very quickly on the skin and leaves no residue or dewiness on my face. I love moisturizer that leaves no trace. I am a firm believer that you shouldn’t notice your moisturizer. That makes this product a winner in my books!

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For the evening, we have the L’Occitane Comfort Oil. Oils are the biggest thing in moisturizing right now. Every brand is releasing an oil to add serious moisture to your skin. This product is 100% natural and perfect for all skin types.

While it says you can apply this oil morning and night, I find it a little too thick and oily for day time under my makeup. It leaves residue on your hands that you have to wash off. It’s ideal for applying before bed though to get your moisture while you sleep.

So curl up with L’Occitane this winter to get nice and cozy.

Most Wanted Face Scrubs

Obviously it’s important to exfoliate our skin all year round but with winter’s dryness comes dead skin, flaky patches and uneven skin tone. Luckily, I love a face scrub so I put together a list of my Most Wanted.
Clarins Gentle Refiner Exfoliating Cream With Microbeads
Clarins Gentle Refiner Exfoliating Cream
This gentle exfoliating cream gets the job done and takes it easy on your skin. You get a deep clean from the microbeads but Mimosa extract stops it from drying out your skin. It’s not too harsh for sensitive skin but I would use it less often than the twice a week they suggest.
Vichy Pureté Thermale Skin Renewing Screamy Scrub
Vichy Purete Thermale Skin Renewing Creamy Scrub
This is probably what most people expect from a face scrub. A cream with new environmentally friendly Jojoba beads. It’s extremely gentle but does a great job of exfoliating. This is the one you could probably use more often without irritating your skin.
Laura Mercier Face Polish
Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Face Polish
I was really expecting this to be a little too harsh for my sensitive skin, it’s really grainy. But I didn’t have any redness or irritation. It did such a great job of clearing out my pores, I found blackheads I didn’t know were there.
Lush Ocean Salt Face And Body Scrub
Lush Ocean Salt Face And Body Scrub
This is such a classic product that I’m pretty sure anyone who loves Lush has tried it at least once. The salt, lime and vodka combination are fantastic for clearing out your skin and the avocado and coconut stops it from drying out your skin. Just a tip for anyone with sensitive skin, try a patch test first to see if you’ll react, salt can be irritating.
StriVectin Oxygen Infusion Smoothing Mask
StriVectin Oxygen Infusion Smoothing Mask
When this product was suggested to me as an exfoliator, I was hugely skeptical. I’ve heard of scrubby masks but this one isn’t scrubby at all. It’s also the coolest mask I’ve ever tried. You apply the cream to your face, watch it foam up and while it dries into a clear film you can feel it get all the crap out of your pores. This has become my most recent obsession and it does such a great job, I was glowing when I rinsed it off.

There are obviously tons of other face scrubs out there, but to get a really good exfoliation, these are my picks.

Vichy Idéalia Day Care Smoothing And Illuminating Cream

Idéalia Day Care Tub
Around six months ago I got to try Vichy’s Idéalia line and I was instantly in love with it. I’m still using the whole line and I’m on my second tub of Skin Sleep. I’m not someone who uses one skin care line from start to finish. I like to mix and match my products to what suits my skin the best or to what I’m in the mood for. But if I wanted to stick to one line exclusively, Idéalia is definitely missing some core products. While Vichy does carry other cleansers and toners, there aren’t any for Idéalia. But now there’s a day moisturizer.
Idéalia Day Care Inside
I haven’t had Idéalia Day Care that long so I can’t really talk about long term effects, but the short term ones have been pretty fantastic. From the first time I used it I noticed my combination skin, that’s been extremely dried out by winter, was hydrated right away and stayed that way all day.

Idéalia Day Care has Kombucha from black tea and Vitamin E among it’s good for you ingredients and is supposed to address fine lines and pores while making your skin radiant. The radiance comes right away. My skin has been a lot more glowy (for lack of a better word) than usual. I don’t have a ton of fine lines so I can’t speak to how that part is going and while I haven’t noticed a major difference in my pores, I really haven’t been using it long enough to see real results but I have good expectations.

This cream is light enough for a day cream but strong enough to use at night if you wanted to. It also has the same delicious scent as Skin Sleep, which makes me really happy. Idéalia Day Care is a perfect addition to the Idéalia line. I’m just hoping they keep adding to this collection because this has quickly become of my staple skin care lines.

Waxing Tips & Most Wanted Products From WAXON

waxon-waxbar

With the winter chill here, we are sure that many people are heading south to find the sun, heat and the beach. To prep for bathing suit weather, we expect that you will be hitting a salon, like WAXON to clean up. We chatted with WAXON’s founder Lexi Miles for tips on all of your waxing so that you can be smooth and ready.

Q: What are the steps to prepping the skin/hair before you go for your wax?

Exfoliation is key! Exfoliating before getting a wax will help prep your skin and hair for your wax services. It helps release ingrown hairs from under the skin’s surface and leaves the skin renewed, which will help you to achieve a flawless wax experience!

Trim your hair if it is too long to ease discomfort when the wax strip is removed. The ideal hair length is ¼ of an inch (the length of a grain of rice) or for any of you who haven’t yet converted to waxing (p.s. now is the time) 12 – 14 days after shaving. However, we do have Lycon Stripless Hot Wax that removes hair as short as 2mm, for emergency wax situations! It happens sometimes, we know.

Q: Is there anything different that you should do depending on where you are getting waxed? Specific tricks before a Brazilian, legs, brows, etc?

As always, exfoliating before getting any waxing services will help prep the hair to be removed. Hydrated skin results in a better more flawless wax, so keep your skin well hydrated especially leading up to your waxing appointment. For a Brazilian, trimming the hair if it is too long will ease pain during a wax service as there won’t be a pull when removing the wax strip. At WAXON we also have numbing creams available that are applied 20 – 30 min before your service, used for primarily below the belt services. BareEase numbing cream for Women, and Numb Nuts for Men, and YES – it does exactly what it says. No pain, no problem!

For WOW Brows, the golden rule is DON’T touch them! Leave it to the professionals – if it’s your first time then the more hair to work with the better!

Q: What is the proper way to exfoliate between waxes to stop ingrown hairs?

Exfoliating at least 2 – 3 times per week in the opposite direction of hair growth to slough off dead skin cells and help prevent ingrown hairs.

HOT TIP: For best results, we recommend WAXON Loofah Scrub ($10) for below the belt exfoliating and ‘On the Rocks’ Body Scrub ($29) for full body exfoliation.

The very best product to eliminate and prevent ingrown hair from coming back in the future…the Oprah favourite PrinceReigns Ingrown hair serum. Use daily post shower to get rid of those pesky ingrown hairs and prevent them from coming back in the future!

Waxing frequently is key! Waxing every 4-5 weeks helps prevent ingrown hairs. When the hairs are shorter and are on the same growth cycle it reduces the pull during a wax service which in turn can cause ingrown hairs

Q: What are your top products for caring for your freshly waxed skin? 

WAXON’s Skin Quenching Body Oil; BodyShot is a 100% Natural go-to post wax product. Not only does it make your body look look and feel fabulous, it’s ultra-hydrating, containing ingredients like coconut oil, avocado oil and arnica, which helps remove heat from the skin post wax.

BIG News – you no longer have to schedule your day around the dreaded post-brow wax redness! At WAXON we complete every brow service by applying Priori Mineral Makeup. Priori is a medical mineral makeup that actually has beneficial ingredients that improve the skin while you wear it while reducing and concealing any redness caused by waxing or threading without clogging pores. Receive your Priori touch up, followed by a brow fill in by our Brow Experts using WAXON’s WOW BROW DUO and you are ready to hit the town!

Yes, there is one more! At WAXON, we complete our 5-step wax process by renewing the skin post-wax by applying our soothing Prince Reigns Ingrown Hair Serum. Exclusively sold at WAXON, Prince Reigns contains aloe, chamomile and lavender that helps calm the skin post while reducing the chance of ingrown hairs.

Most Wanted 2015: Steph’s Picks

This year I found a lot of great products that have not only changed the way I wear makeup and care for my skin, but also become new secret weapons and favourite products. As I get ready for a new year of beauty, here is my makeup most wanted for 2015.

Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Overnight Purifying Gel

Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Overnight Purifying Gel & Night Pads

I tend to get random breakouts whenever I get stressed, but this new line from Nip + Fab gets my skin back on track quickly. They aren’t just for acne, but also help clogged pores or any time your face feels dirty. The purifying gel works on a day-to-day basis, while the pads are perfect for those seriously stressful times. This is one secret weapon that I will be keeping with me throughout 2016.

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The Body Shop Smoky Poppy

This limited edition line was my favourite smell of 2015. Who knew that poppies could smell so amazing? This collection has a musky and spicy smell that I am still in love with. The Eau De Toilette is my favourite, but the entire line is great. It’s leaving stores now and only available in clearance online. I will miss it with all of my heart!

rodial-mascara

Rodial Glamolash Mascara XXL

Take your lashes from average to amazing with this mascara. I sometimes feel like I have tried every trick to make my lashes look longer and darker, who knew that all you needed was this mascara. When Rodial launched their makeup line I skipped the regular mascara and went straight for the XXL. I will never go back!

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MAC Cosmetics Magic Of The Night Evening Rendezvous Lipstick

I have always been a classic red lipstick girl, but this winter I decided that I needed a change. I wanted to switch to a darker purple hue. I struggled to find the perfect shade though. The first time I put on this new lipstick from MAC Cosmetics I was hooked. This isn’t just my favourite lipstick of the season, but one of my favourite lipsticks of all time!!!!

lise watier eye cream review

Lise Watier Lift & Firm 3D Ultra Firming Rejuvenating Eye Cream

When 2015 started I wasn’t a fan of eye cream. I thought they were a hoax, until I met this eye cream from Lise Watier. This cream made my eye look brighter and firm. Since then I had become hooked on trying a number of different creams. I will always thank Lise Watier for changing my mind.