Category: Skin Care

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

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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!

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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.

More Great Skin Care Gifts

There are so many amazing gifts available this year we have more than one post for so many categories. Especially skin care, because all of us want great skin next year.

Foreo Deep Cleansing Essentials
Foreo Deep Cleansing Essentials
Invest in your (or someone you love’s) skin care this holiday season with this Foreo set. I have never been a big fan of face cleansing tools and brushes and devices. I think that their hype overvalues them. That makes my support of the Foreo mean so much more. A lot of products tout that it’s like a spa facial at home. After washing with the Foreo, it really does feel like a spa facial at home! My skin feels refreshed and totally clean. It isn’t tough. I’m sure it’s just as nice on sensitive skin, as it is on my tough exterior. There is a smoother Day Cleanser and an exfolitating Night Cleanser to give you an all-day glow.

Ole Henriksen 3 Little Wonders + Cleanse
Ole Henriksen
Give a unique little holiday gift set this year with this compact set. Mom or your favourite aunt will love this set for a more youthful glow. This set includes African Red Tea Foaming Cleaner, Truth Serum Collagen Booster, Sheer Transformation moisturizer, and Invigorating Night Treatment. This skin care set is different than the regular old set you give every year because of the exciting ingredients. Ole Henriksen uses amazing natural ingredients including citrus, licorice and red tea. Whoever you give it to will be impressed.

Peter Thomas Roth Mask-A-Holic Kit
Peter thomas roth mask-a-holic kit
Any mask addict like myself is going to love opening any of the mask sets from Peter Thomas Roth. It’s hard for us to choose just one that we would put on our Christmas wish list. Sets range from the $20 Mini Mask Magic Kit all of the way to the $45 Skinstant Mask Magic set. Try choosing a set based on the different masks included. The Pumpkin Enzyme Mask is a more intensive treatment, not suitable for sensitive skin. The Cucumber Gel Mask is much more hydrating. I would recommend the MAsk-A-Holic set because it includes the amazing 24K Gold Mask. It’s so luxurious and gives your skin a natural glow after just one use! You will almost want to keep it for yourself.

Nude Triple Skin Rescue
Nude Triple Skin Rescue
All natural skin care isn’t boring anymore! This Nude skin care set doesn’t have any parabens, pulphates or any other products that you don’t always want on your face, plus it’s really innovative. The three products are more than just your regular cleansers. Modernize your routine with the makeup removing Perfect Cleanse Omega Cleansing Jelly, the interesting Detox Fizzy Powder Wash and the silky Progenius Omega Rescue Oil.

Philosophy Renewed Hope In A Jar
Renewed Hope In A Jar
Need that finishing touch to the stocking? This moisturizer is perfect. Renewed Hope In A Jar is a philosophy classic product. This moisturizer is great for almost any skin type. It has a very light powdery smell. It absorbs quickly and leaves your skin feeling soft right away. Everyone will love it.

Holiday Most Wanted – Skin Care Gift Sets

Over the holidays we focus a lot on makeup, hair and nails both for gift giving and ourselves. But our skin needs love too. So we found our Most Wanted skin care gift sets for both face and body that you can either gift or keep for yourself. Because everyone’s skin needs a little help during winter.
Vichy Aqualia Thermal Gift Set
Vichy Aqualia Thermal Gift Set
You get two choices with this gift set, Rich or Light. They both come with Boosting Essence Water and Aqualia Thermal Night Spa. All you have to do is pick which Aqualia Thermal you want and your dry to very dry, dehydrated skin will thank you.
StriVectin Skin Renewing Favorites
StriVectin Skin Renewing Favorites
If you’ve always wanted to try StriVectin or know someone who’s into anti-aging skin care, this is a great gift. It includes SD Advanced Intensive Concentrate for Wrinkles & Stretch Marks, Eye Concentrate For Wrinkles, TL Advanced Tightening Neck Cream and Intensive Illuminating Serum. I have a couple family members who are getting this one and they’re going to love it.
boscia Japanese Favorites
Boscia Japanese Favorites
boscia is known for their Japanese skin care and if you’ve never tried the Luminizing Black Mask, now you can try it along with other boscia faves like the Detoxifying Black Cleanser, Tsubaki Beauty Oil and Exfoliating Peel Gel. But really, try the mask. It’s insanely good.
philosophy Glowing Days Ahead Set
Philosophy Glowing Days Ahead
philosophy’s Glowing Days Ahead has everything you need to transform dull, winter skin into glowing youthfulness. This set includes everything from cleanser (Purity Made Simple) to The Microdelivery Peels, Time In A Bottle Serum and the ever important moisturizer (Renewed Hope In A Jar). Glowing Days Ahead is a must have for the anti-aging skin care junkie on your list.
L’Occitane Almond Star Gift
L'Occitane Almond Star  Collection
We can’t neglect the dried out skin on our bodies during the winter and with L’Occitane’s Almond Star Gift you’ll not only have soft, hydrated skin but you’ll smell amazing. With the Almond Shower Oil, Almond Supple Skin Oil, Almond Milk Concentrate, Almond Delicious Hands and Almond Soap; you’re going to want to keep this one for yourself. Or you could buy a couple, $10 from every sale of this gift goes to Dress For Success.

Splurge Worthy Holiday Gift Set – Fresh Mask Must Haves

Fresh Mask Must Haves

I am a mask fanatic! I am truly obsessed! I love using all different types of face masks. When I first saw this Fresh Mask Must Haves gift set, I thought I was dreaming. With four of fresh’s best masks all in one place, this is a gift that I needed!

First, there is the cooling and soothing Rose Face Mask, which smells absolutely amazing. This is more of your every day mask for anyone’s skin. Next, the Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask that soothes and firms while you sleep using natural ingredients. For a deeper clean, there is the Sugar Face Polish that uses sugar and strawberry seeds to clean those pores. Finally, the Umbrian Clay Mattifying Mask that you can use as a cleanser or mask for oily skin.

Available at Sephora and their own website for just $80 this isn’t really much of a holiday splurge, but it is if you buy two: one for a friend and one for yourself. I see a lot of spa days coming up in my future.

Skin Saving Acne Tips From Neutrogena

There is almost nothing worse than acne. It doesn’t matter if you suffer from regular acne or just the occasional breakout, it’s the worst. There are hundreds of products promising to give you beautiful clear skin, but it seems impossible to know what to trust. To take the guesswork out of preventing acne, we turned to Neutrogena and their expert, Toronto dermatologist, Dr. Paul Cohen.

Q: There are a lot of rumours and tales on what causes acne, but what are the actual most common causes of acne?

A: There are many different factors that can cause acne – hormones, genetics, bacteria, poor skin barrier function. Recent research also says diet can even have an impact. It’s a multi-factorial skin condition. Acne is primarily a hormonal condition driven by male hormones. Sensitivity to such hormones, combined with bacteria on the skin, and fatty acids within oil glands, cause acne. Simply explained – skin cells, sebum and hair can clump together into a plug in your pores; this plug gets infected with bacteria, resulting in a swelling. A pimple starts to develop when the plug begins to break down. Sometimes, p. acnes, the bacteria that live on our skin, also gets inside the clogged pore. Inside the pore, the bacteria have a perfect environment for multiplying very quickly and the pore becomes red and swollen. If the inflammation goes deep into the skin, an acne cyst or nodule can appear. Common sites for acne are the face, chest, shoulders, and back — the sites of oil glands. Up to 90% of people will suffer from acne at some point within their lifetime.

Q: Outside of skincare, are there lifestyle changes that people with acne should take?

A: I would say diet is important. The thoughts on this connection have really changed over the years. In the past, we were told that we should stay away from chocolate to avoid acne. Then that connection was disproved and the school of thought changed, saying food was not a factor. Now, we know that diet does affect breakouts from recent research. Specifically milk and dairy products, especially in women, have been recently proven to have a direct correlation. High sugar levels have also been noted as a factor, as they cause insulin levels to spike and cause a shift in hormones to regulate, and also foods with high-glycemic content.

Q: Are there different ways to treat different types of acne?

A: There are different types of pimples but they all start with plugged-up pores. Different medications or treatments may be used to treat the different types of acne, but all in all, it all starts the same. I tell all of my patients that using proper hygiene and the right treatment for your skin should help your skin.

Proper hygiene for acne-prone skin includes washing your face about twice each day. Use a mild soap made especially for people with acne, and warm water. Do not scrub the skin. Don’t try to burst the pimples. You may push the infection further down, causing more blocking and worse swelling and redness. Popping pimples makes scarring more likely. I also ask them to try to refrain from touching their face with their hands – it spreads dirt and bacteria that can aggravate acne.

Q: Moving into winter, are there any changes that people with acne should make to their skincare routine?

A: Alter your skincare routine for the cold weather – your skin changes with the seasons, so your skincare routine should as well! Use a milder cleanser, I usually recommend a liquid cleanser. Cleansers containing salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide can be particularly drying, especially if you are using them in conjunction with other acne treatment products. You can go back to an acne-fighting cleanser once your skin doesn’t feel as dry. Instead, try using a gentle foaming cleanser.

If your skin is feeling very dry, you may want to scale back use of your acne creams and treatments. Try using your treatment products every other day until the dryness and flaking lessens.

Regular use of a moisturizer is important, even for those with acne. Remember, nearly all acne treatment products dry the skin to some extent. Choose a moisturizing gel or lotion because they are lighter than products labeled cream. Whatever moisturizer you choose, be sure it is marked non-comedogenic and oil-free.

Stay tuned for next week when we talk to Dr. Cohen about what you should look for in your cleanser to fight acne!