Category: Skin Care

Sweetease Waxing Kits

I am the worst at keeping regular salon appointments. It doesn’t matter if it’s a hair or waxing appointment. I am always a few weeks later than I should be. I save up my Sweetease Waxing Kits in case of emergency.  Sweetease has developed these little easy to use waxing kits for your legs, face and bikini area at home.

Using a Sweetease Waxing Kit is as easy as it sounds. The first step is to warm a strip between your hands. Don’t skimp on the warming time. You want to be sure that it’s very warm so the wax sticks. I found it helpful to sit on the strips that I wasn’t using yet to start warming them up early.
Sweetease Leg Waxing Kit
Next peel apart the wax strips slowly. If they aren’t warm enough, you won’t be able to get them apart. You will smell the delicious vanilla scent when you peel them apart.

Now press on the strips in the direction of the hair growth.

Make sure that they are good and stuck!  And rip them off quickly in the opposite direction quickly, just like they do in the spa. The success of how well they work depends on how long your hair growth is, how well you stuck it down, how well you ripped it off and your own hair texture.

Overall, it did a great job at getting the hair off. My only complaint is that to do my whole leg, it took quite a long time. I kept trying to find shortcuts to make it go quicker. Like I mentioned, I tried sitting on the strips to warm them. Because my hair is thin, I was also able to use some of the strips twice on the lighter areas.

I don’t think that I would ever use the Sweetease strips for my entire leg again, but they are perfect for touch ups when need be. You can use them on date night or vacation when you don’t have time for a full shave.

Most Wanted Face Products For Spring

Spring really does a number on my face. The dryness from winter isn’t gone yet and my allergies from all the growing things make my skin way more sensitive. That sensitivity causes more redness, which in turn results in me wearing more makeup than normal. It’s a vicious cycle but I’ve found some new products that are quickly becoming essentials in my spring face routine.
Hylamide Booster Series Sensitive Fix
Hylamide Sensitive Fix Booster
I’ve tried so many things for redness that have done absolutely nothing for me. Imagine my surprise when I started using this Sensitive Fix Serum and saw results almost immediately. If I’m being good and actually using this twice a day, the redness in my skin reduces by a significant amount. It’s extremely lightweight and absorbs immediately without any stickiness. And if I’m feeling lazy, I mix some into my moisturizer. There also isn’t a heavy scent which is great for those who have really sensitive skin.
StriVectin Multi-Action Restorative Cream
StriVectin Multi-Action Restorative Cream
I’ve been pretty obsessed with StriVectin lately. There hasn’t been a single product I’ve tried that hasn’t done what it said it was going to. Granted, I don’t have a ton of skin issues and I’m not trying to get rid of wrinkles but I’m definitely working on preventative measures. The Multi-Action Restorative Cream is supposed to address fine lines, wrinkles, density, firmness, sagging, texture, dehydration, dullness, discoloration, clarity, resilience and enlarged pores. This cream looks really thick but it’s not and it sinks in fast. I’ve noticed a difference in the dehyration, dullness and enlarged pore camps, but I was looking for those. In general I’ve just noticed my skin looks better.
Clinique Chubby In The Nude Foundation Stick
Clinique Chubby In The Nude Foundation Stick
In the spring, I’m still looking for a creamy, hydrating foundation and Chubby In The Nude is definitely that. It also allows me to only cover the areas I need to. This is sheer to medium coverage so it’s extremely natural looking but if you’re looking for full coverage, you’ll want to skip this one. It blends into my skin tone really well and is really great for travel when you don’t want to deal with gloopy foundation.
Kat Von D Lock-It Color Correcting Eyeshadow Primer
Kat Von D Lock-It Color Correcting Eyeshadow Primer
I don’t think I have color issues on my eyelids but I do love the fact that this is the only Kat Von D foundation product that isn’t too dark on me. The fair shade is perfect for my skin tone and the crayon format makes it really easy to prime my eyes for shadow. Lock-It is kind of an understatement, once you apply shadow, it’s not moving. So if you want to blend, use my trick. Only apply this below your crease so you can blend above it.
Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil
Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil
I love when products end up being multi-purpose. I was hesitant to try a primer oil because I wasn’t sure it would stick. I was partially right. I find when I use this with a super hydrating foundation, it feels like makeup is sliding off my face. But when I use it with something more dry, it’s perfect. I’ve also been using it on it’s own for a little glow and I mix it with a drop of concealer or foundation for a tinted moisturizer. It’s not greasy at all and is really, really hyrating. It might not be exactly what you’d expect from a Smashbox primer but I actually love how different it is.

Influenster Voxbox: L’Oreal Hydra-Total 5 Ultra-Even Collection

L'Oreal Ultra Even Collection
It’s been almost a year since I’ve received an Influenster Voxbox and of the few I’ve tried I’ve had really great results. This time I received L’Oreal’s new Hydra-Total 5 skin care line. There are three variations to this collection; Ultra-Even, Ultra-Fresh and Ultra-Soothing. Of the three, the one I would’ve picked for my sensitive, combination skin would’ve been Ultra-Soothing, so I was a little skeptical when I received Ultra-Even. Yes, there are elements to it that make sense for my skin, I’d like to even out my skin and smooth it out a little but I wasn’t sure how well it would work on me. So, I’m going to write about them from worst to best.
Ultra-Even Moisturizer
L'Oreal Ultra Even Moisturizer
This cream is supposed to moisturize, even skin tone, reduce dark spots, illuminate and smooth. It’s one of the thickest creams I’ve ever tried but it doesn’t absorb very well. It’s also extremely white and left my very fair skin even paler (I didn’t know it was possible) and it stayed that way the morning after. I was asked repeatedly if I was feeling ok because I was so pale. The scent is pretty faint but the moisture level was awful, I had to put another moisturizer over it, the paleness stayed anyways. Because I’m so fair already, I can deal with looking slightly paler but I’d love to know if people with darker skin had the same issue.
Ultra-Even Toner
L'Oreal Ultra Even Toner
I’ve learned that alcohol-based toners are not my friend but since I was sent this collection to review as a whole, I couldn’t exactly leave this toner out. I wish I had, it burned quite a bit and made my skin feel really dry. It probably didn’t help that it’s paired with a scrub cleanser but I wasn’t about to try it with anything else. Too bad though, it smells amazing.
Ultra-Even Lotion
L'Oreal Ultra Even Lotion
This day moisturizer comes with SPF 20 and that’s pretty much the best thing I can say about it. Normally I would add another SPF with a moisturizer but I had to use so much of this lotion to get any kind of hydration that I was basically good on the sunscreen front. This lotion really did nothing for my skin and I really didn’t enjoy the scent.
Ultra-Even Scrub
L'Oreal Ultra Even Scrub
Now we finally get to the product I actually liked! This scrub did a great job exfoliating my skin. It has a really fresh, grapefruit scent and made my skin feel really clean without stripping it. It’s not too harsh for my sensitive skin but I probably wouldn’t use it every day.

I have to say, I’m pretty disappointed in this collection as a whole. Granted, this clearly wasn’t the right line for my skin but it’s very rare for me to absolutely hate a product, let alone three in a collection. Luckily the scrub was the saving grace but it wasn’t great enough to save everything.

February Makeup Most Wanted

Another month is gone, and even with one extra day February still seemed extra short this year. Regardless, I still found the time to discover a few hot new products that I am in love with!

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer – I have almost said good bye to foundation these last few weeks thanks to this new concealer. This concealer is made specifically for erasing those dark circles under the eyes. It’s perfect for that, but it also works at concealing any other annoying spots on your face with perfect precision. I find it incredibly hard to find a concealer that I love and can depend on. This one is simple and effective in all the right ways.

Clarins Wonder Perfect MascaraClarins Wonder Perfect Mascara – I have tried a lot of bad mascaras lately. I thought about writing a post about all of the bad ones, but instead I’m going to celebrate the one great one! This new mascara has been my new favourite. Imagine long, thick, curled lashes every single day. It’s max colour and volume that is perfect for day or night!

Pond’s Wet Cleansing Towelettes

Pond’s Wet Cleansing Towelettes – Who needs regular face wash when you have these towels on hand? These Pond’s wipes are everything you want in a regular face wash, without having to worry about water and rinsing. They give a great clean that leaves my face feeling refreshed. They are also surprisingly moisturizing. I shouldn’t be too surprised though… it’s Pond’s after all. I love their baby powder soft scent too for a before bed clean.

Dove Quench Absolute Hair Care

Dove Quench Absolute Hair Care – This line doesn’t technically hit shelves until next month, but I need to tell you now so that you can rush to stores in March!!! I have tried Dove hair products before, but they didn’t leave a lasting memory. This new line though shocked me. In the shower, this Dove shampoo and conditioner didn’t seem like anything special, it was only after it dried that I was impressed. Time after time, this Dove hair line left my hair soft and moisturized. My curls were bouncy, and that never happens! Frizz was a distant memory. I see a future of soft beautiful hair, hopefully not just for me, but you too!

vichy-normaderm-3-in-1-cleanser-scrub-mask

Vichy Normaderm 3 In 1 Cleanser + Scrub + Mask – I already loved the Normaderm line. It’s my favourite of all of Vichy’s skin care products. Imagine my glee when Vichy added to the collection with a product that isn’t just a cleanser. It isn’t just a scrub. It isn’t just a mask either. It’s gentle enough to be able to be used regularly. You can also leave it on your face as a pore cleansing mask. When budgets are tight, this is the kind of smart products that one needs!

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.