This month has been one to remember thanks to amazing makeup from these four brands!
Strivectin Hair All Smooth Collection
This might be the best smoothing and frizz controlling hair care line I’ve ever tried. I’m not joking at all people! The shampoo and conditioner don’t foam up in the shower the same way your other favourite products do, but just believe. I think I ended up using a bit too much on my hair in every shower, but it still worked. Post-shower I have been getting even more protection power with the Strivectin Hair All Smooth Frizz Control Mist. It doesn’t matter whether I air dry or blow dry, my hair has been looking amazing afterwards no matter what. The mist does make my hair a bit stiffer than I would like, but it is worth it. It’s not just one day of frizz protection, but multiple days of amazing looking hair. I’m not done yet folks, because there is also the Overnight Frizz Serum. This is the best to apply a few days after your wash when frizz is threatening to return. You just apply it all over your hair before bed. When you wake up, you have nice smooth bed head without the morning frizz fight. It’s hard to describe when something just works exactly like it promises and fulfills all of your dreams. Strivectin has done that.
NYX Ombre Blush
I love ombré blush. I wish all blushes were ombré. I love ombré blush because my face isn’t one colour. It has different tones and levels. It needs products with that same feel. Regular blush is good, but sometimes you have to apply it specially to get it to be different tones on the different areas of your cheek bones. Ombre blush has depth, that same way that my face has depth. This NYX blush in Mauve Me has the rich mauve tone that moves into a shimmery light pink. It’s like combining your highlighter and blush all in one. It isn’t one colour, because I’m not one colour.
The Face Shop Multi Stick Contour
In all my time using contouring makeup, I have rarely come across a contouring stick. I was worried that it would be too harsh or wouldn’t blend enough. The Face Shop’s Multi Stick is actually a really easy to use contour tool. The makeup is somewhere between a grey and beige. It should be versatile enough for many skin tones. Unlike a lot of contouring makeup, The Face Shop contour stick is quick and easy to use. Simply swipe it under your cheekbones, jaw line and nose for contouring in seconds. I used to save contouring for special occasions only, but now it’s an everyday thing. For just $15, this is an amazing investment.
Maybelline Master Camo Color Correcting Kit
While you are getting your skin all beautiful with blush and contouring, why not finish the job with a great concealer too. This set has 6 different creams to ensure your skin looks amazing. There are two correctors, two concealers and two highlighters. I really liked the concealers best. In all of my time using this little palette, there wasn’t a single blemish that I could find that didn’t give in to the colours. Blemishes were no match.
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.
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.
In the past year, StriVectin has made it into my top five skin care brands and is one of the few I use on a regular basis. When they announced they were coming out with three hair care lines (more coming later), I was hoping they would have the same results as the skin care products. All three collections have the NIA-114 technology that StriVectin uses in their skin lines, so we were already off to a good start. The first collection I tried was the Max Volume made for people with fine or flat hair. I have both but mine is also curly and frizzy (which doesn’t make sense but it’s true). All the collections have shampoo and conditioner plus two extra products; Max Volume’s line has a root lifting spray and a serum.
The shampoo and conditioner bottles are exactly the same but the top of the shampoo bottle is the line’s turquoise (each collection has it’s own colour) and the conditioner is white, so it’s easy to tell which is which. The shampoo gets a really good, soft lather and my hair feels like it’s getting clean without being stripped. The conditioner is a good, medium thickness that doesn’t feel too heavy but definitely moisturizes. All the products from StriVectin hair are sulfate and paraben free.
When I’m testing a new hair collection, I try to stick to only using the products in the collection so I can see how they actually work. Considering there wasn’t anything for frizz or curl calming, I was a little worried to see how it would go but the products actually did a great job taming my hair. The Root Lifting Spray not only gave me added lift but also eliminated a good amount of my frizz.
The Bodifying Radiance Serum got rid of the rest of the frizz, while leaving my hair shiny and bouncy. I rarely blow dry my hair so I haven’t tested out the serum’s heat protecting capabilities but it definitely fulfills the volume requirement.
As a whole, Max Volume did exactly what the name suggests, my hair got serious volume. But it was also hydrated and I didn’t feel like I had a ton of product in my hair. I did occasionally have to use a couple extra products for my frizz and the conditioner bottle is a little hard to work with but I’m seriously impressed with my first experience with StriVectin Hair and I can’t wait to try the next line that’s waiting for me.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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 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’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
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.
I spent most of September doing very little thanks to hand surgery, so all the products I used were either ones I was obsessed with over the summer, or products that I was able to use one-handed. Even with that narrowed list, I had a ton of favourites this month but these ones rose to the top of my September list.
Flower Transforming Powder-To-Creme Blush in Tickled Pink
I prefer powder blush over creme but this one has the best of both worlds. It starts off as a loose powder and as it hits skin it becomes very creamy. The first time I opened it, I was a little scared at how bright this shade looked but it blends in and becomes very natural. You can use this with a brush or your fingers which made it very easy to apply one-handed.
StriVectin Advanced Retinol Pore Refiner
If there’s one thing about my skin that drives me nuts, it’s how huge my pores are. Since I have sensitive, combination skin it’s really difficult to find pore products that won’t turn my face bright red. StriVectin’s Pore Refiner is something of a miracle product for me. While I didn’t get instant massive results, my pores do look consistently smaller and my skin gets moisturized at the same time. There’s also zero irritation and my skin feels a lot smoother.
Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin Concealer in Ivory
I don’t wear a lot of concealer. I don’t have dark circles under my eyes and I don’t break out very often but I do get red, dry patches occasionally that I want to cover up. I’m so pale that finding a concealer that’s light enough for me is a challenge. The Better Skin concealer in Ivory is light enough to do the job and it lasts all day without flaking off.
Sephora Contour Matte Gel Eyeliner Waterproof in Caffeine Buzz
Eyeliner is one of my favourite things and I’ll use any of them. Pencil, liquid, gel, it doesn’t matter to me. It just depends on what kind of look I want. But finding a good eyeliner for waterlines and tightlining is difficult. This Sephora brand eyeliner is pretty much made exactly for those things and I love that it’s matte. It’s easy to blend but once it sets, it doesn’t budge. I’ve been using this liner almost exclusively since I got it and I’m already thinking about other shades that I might pick up.
Garnier Fresh Cleansing Cloths
It doesn’t seem to matter how good a cleansing cloth is; if I’m removing waterproof mascara or eyeliner, one doesn’t quite do the job and I usually have to follow up with either another cloth or real makeup remover. Until now. Each of these cloths have two doses of Garnier’s Makeup Removing Lotion Cleanser and it gets every drop of makeup off with one cloth. It doesn’t leave my skin feeling sticky and I don’t have to scrub to get mascara off. I’ve already bought a second package and it’s slowly starting to replace my favourite Neutrogena makeup remover wipes.
Stephanie posted her spring face mask picks yesterday and now it’s my turn. Apparently I like my masks with tea in them.
boscia Green Tea Mattifying Hydrogel Mask
This mask took a little bit of work to get used to. It’s a sheet mask but it’s got quite a slimy feel to it. Once you get it on properly and let it do it’s thing, it’s amazing. It left my skin feeling amazingly refreshed, and it was definitely mattifying. They’re only $10 CDN at Sephora so I’ve already grabbed another one. This mask comes in two other varieties as well.
StriVectin Instant Revitalizing Mask
This mask is probably the most classic of my picks. It applies really creamy and you only need a thin layer so a little goes a long way. It gets drier as it sets and once it’s comes off your skin feels really soft. I almost didn’t want to use moisturizer after. If you have super dry skin, I’d skip this one but for everyone else that wants really soft and glowy skin, you should take a look at this one.
Royal Apothic Cuppa Cuppa Firming Tea Treatment Mask
I adore Royal Apothic’s packaging and I love that you can buy this mask in a tub with six tubes or you can buy one individually. This mask isn’t just for your face. You can use it on your mask, neck, hands or anywhere you want a little tightening up. It has a little bit of a grain to it, so you get a good scrub when you’re removing it, which I love.
fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask
There are literally no words for how much I love this mask. The texture is so unique, almost like a whipped balm and it’s so refreshing to apply. This mask doesn’t get dry while it sets and even though it says to leave it on for 5-10 minutes, after five my skin just looks seriously fabulous. I don’t know how it works but it does. If you want hydrated, glowing skin you need to try this mask.
Lotus Aroma Pink Clay Soothing Mask
When my skin gets really sensitive, this is the mask I reach for. The pink clay doesn’t get overly dry but I can feel it really pulling stuff out of my skin, in a good way. the result leaves me with super smooth skin that has way less redness than before.