21 June 2017

May/June Empties ✨

I am really bad at hanging onto to empty packages and remembering to take a picture.. somehow it feels a bit unnatural to hoard my garbage for social media? But here are a couple items I've finished up recently and how I felt about them.

Adama Minerals French Rose Clay Hydrating Face Mask - this was only just fine to me. I picked it up at Winner's on a whim, at the time I didn't have another clay mask I was using. It reduced oil after application but didn't do wonders for my skin. The mask feels like a regular clay mask once applied, but when you squeeze it out it's very wiggly like jell-o! It just made me laugh for no reason, so at least it was a joy to use. I would be interested in trying the brand's other masks and some other products.. the deodorants seem interesting!
Overall rating: 2.5/5, wouldn't repurchase. 

HadoLabo Gokujyun Hyaluronic Lotion - my favourite hydrating toner. It's just perfect in every way to me. It lasts forever, it has a nice watery consistency, it absorbs well, it helps with moisture and the rest of my routine. I only didn't buy another one because I order in online and I am deviating from my "holy grail" to try Klairs' Supple Preparation Toner. I'll likely go back to this one after.
Overall rating: 5/5, likely will always have a place in my routine.

OGX Argan Oil of Morocco Penetrating Oil - I just use it on the ends of my hair after showering and before styling. I always use some sort of oil or serum and to me they all work similarly. I like to try new brands and types of oils and serums, so while I liked this I probably won't buy it again any time soon. I'm using RenPure's Coconut Oil Renewing Dry Oil now since this one's gone. 
Overall rating: 3.5/5, worked well enough, but not running to grab a new one immediately. 

Stila Huge Lash Mascara - I really liked this deluxe sample, but at the same time, I have discovered most mascaras will work for me. I mostly just go out of my way to not purchase waterproof and everything else is fair game. Since I'm not picky, I don't repurchase mid-range mascaras. I can buy something that works well for $6 and don't have to shell out $30+. 
Overall rating: 4/5, but too expensive. 

Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Mascara - Now, considering what I just said.. I wouldn't be mad if another sample made its way to me or I was gifted this. It really did go the extra mile and make my lashes look perfectly lengthened and separated.. luxurious, like falsies. This is the only expensive mascara I would love to get again!
Overall rating: 5/5, but I really don't like the price so I'm crying into my new rube of Lash Paradise.

I'm really close to finishing up a couple of cleansers, some small skincare samples from Clinique and GlamGlow, and a Clean & Clear BHA. For makeup, I suspect I'll soon be reporting back about a bb cream, eyeshadow primer, and pencil eyeliner. 

08 June 2017

Skincare - My Current Actives

Hi, all!

I have been using BHAs and AHAs for about a year and a half, but only in the last 6 months have I introduced retinoids and vitamin C. I just wanted to share some small reviews of my favourite products in this category. I would encourage you to do some research on how to best use these types of products, such as the order of application and necessary pH levels, in order to be safe and use them most effectively.

⭐ My skin is normal with a little bit of hyper-pigmentation (dense clusters of freckles that form brown spots on my jaw, mostly) and my goals are to maintain moisture, maintain a bright and even skin-tone, and prevent signs of aging. ⭐

from left to right: The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2%, OST Pure Vitamin C 21.5, pixi Glow Tonic, CosRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner, Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix

The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2%
Because I am very interested in maintaining good skin and preventing signs of aging, my research lead me to looking for retinoid products. The Advanced Retinoid 2% by Deciem's The Ordinary is inexpensive and easy to use, with a dropper and a darkened bottle. Retinoids are supposed to "cause enhanced collagen production, be skin smoothing, and even out pigmentation." I have been using this about 2-3 times each week in the evening for 9 weeks. I have seen improvement in fine lines of my forehead and generally more smoothness in my skin. 

Pure Vitamin C OST Advanced Serum 
I didn't initially look into trying a vitamin C (L-AA) product because it seemed like a greatly loved ingredient for people with acne scarring, but this wasn't a concern for me so I glossed over such products for a long time. I have some dark spots on my jaw that I wouldn't mind to fade, and who doesn't love smooth and glowing skin, anyway? I figured I had nothing to lose, so I started using this serum. I keep it in my fridge at the recommendation of most bloggers because it oxidizes quicker without being in a cool, dark place. I usually use this at night. So far I have been using it daily except for days where I use my retinoid. I seem to have faded some pesky red spots from a breakout I had in April from just my first few uses, and I'm quite happy about that. It's kind of a nuisance to go back and forth to the fridge and I don't move on to applying other products until at least 30 minutes after using it, but I think it'll be worth it.

pixi Glow Tonic
A very popular AHA (glycolic acid) in the online skincare world. I have heard a lot of mixed reviews and apparently the pH is too high for it to be a really good exfoliant. I still enjoy using it. I love the scent (mmmm, witch hazel) and it makes my face feel smooth and clean. I do find it a bit expensive in Canada for a small bottle, but you don't need much and I've had the smaller bottle since January and I'm not done with it yet.

CosRX AHA/BHA Treatment Toner
I recently discovered that this is best used just before applying actives because it prepares your skin to best use/absorb other ingredients and lowers pH. I like to spray it onto a cotton round and then swipe my face with it before applying vitamin C. It's super gentle and can be used daily.

Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing Pads 
These are the same idea as the pixi Glow Tonic, but they are pre-soaked rounds. pixi actually has a similar product, but I really wanted to try these. I like them because they are convenient to use and saves me from buying cotton rounds on their own, but I would like to try the "Extreme" version which has glycolic acid, lactic acid, and salicylic acid. These are definitely gentle for more sensitive skin-types.

I would repurchase all of these products and I feel they have really helped me achieve my skincare goals.

02 June 2017

Still In Love: ABH Modern Renaissance

I bought the crazy-hyped, warm toned palette by Anastasia Beverly Hills as soon as it was available on Sephora's Canadian site early last summer. I've had it about a year now (I got it June 14th 2016!) and I wanted to use it today for a date look.

☀ Too Faced Hangover Primer
☀ KVD Lock It Concealer Creme, Light 3
☀ MUFE Water Blend Foundation, Y215
☀ Rimmel Stay Matte Presed Powder, Translucent
☀ LunatiCK Cosmetic Labs Contour Book Vol. I
☀ MAC Beauty Powder, Summer Opal (Bao Bao Wan collection, 2015)
☀ BECCA Pressed Powder Highlighter, Opal 
☀ Smashbox 24/HR Eye Primer
☀ Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Whiz, Soft Brown
☀ Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow, Soft Brown
☀ NYX Shadow Single, White 
☀ Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette (Red Ochre, Burnt Orange, Love Letter)
☀ MakeUp Geek Shadow Singles (Bitten, Shimma Shimma)
☀ Annabelle Smoothliner, Brownie
☀ Wet N' Wild MegaLiner, Dark Brown 
☀ Buxom Lash Mascara
☀ Maybelline Rocket Volum Express Mascara  
☀ Maybelline Master Fix Setting Spray
☀ Smith's Menthol and Eucalyptus Lip Balm 

Do you ever get nostalgic for a certain product or palette and get excited to use it again?