Welcome back to my blog! I haven’t been very active online this year, and plan to return to my regular blogging schedule. Before I publish new product reviews and content, I’ll explain why I disappeared:
I began my four-month long internship in January. This is the last semester of my social work program and I’ve devoted a lot of time to the internship. It involved a new schedule and activities that I had to become familiar with. Maintaining a regular blogging schedule was not easy!
2018 definitely came in with a bang. I ended up catching the flu more than once, which required time to recover from. I desperately wanted to continue blogging while I was ill, but resting was my top priority.
My daily schedule is regular, and I’ve devoted specific times to write new blog posts each week. I’m excited to welcome everyone back into my blogging space!
If you have any ideas for future beauty/lifestyle content that you want me to write about, leave a comment below!
I’ve tried many different products and samples to maintain clear skin. Some products were ineffective, while others stopped working once my skin acclimatized to them. The products I currently use are soothing on my sensitive skin while still effective for breakouts.
1. Tarte Cosmetics Deep Dive Cleansing Gel
This brightening gel cleanser from Tarte is gentle enough to use daily to cleanse and reduce breakouts. It does not foam or leave any residue, which keeps my skin clear without clogging my pores. This cleanser is the main product I apply as part of my skin care routine.
2. GlamGlow Super Mud Clearing Treatment
I like to apply a heavy-duty cleanser once a week. GlamGlow’s Super Mud Clearing Treatment is a thicker mud mask that minimizes pores while maintaining the skin’s natural moisture. It contains active charcoal and salylic acid to lift away dirt and other skin-clogging debris. This mask refreshes my skin and decreases any blemishes I may have.
3. Clarins SOS Hydra Refreshing Hydration Mask
One skincare product I don’t use diligently is a moisturizer. On days when my skin is dry and just needs extra moisture, I apply this hydration mask from Clarins. It is a cooling, cream-gel mask that delivers hydration. While it does not cleanse or brighten my skin, it effectively hydrates and refreshes my skin. If my skin appears drier or dull this mask is the perfect product to introduce more moisture into my skin.
What skin care products are you currently using? let me know in the comments below!
Welcome to the last few days of 2017! I bought a range of new makeup and skincare products throughout the year. While it was difficult to narrow down, today I’ll share my top four products of 2017.
1. Huda Beauty Desert Dusk Palette
This palette was my favourite eyeshadow to use this year. The matte, shimmer and pure glitter shades made this palette very versatile. I adore the range of colours – from shimmering champagne to burnt orange with pops of purple. This palette enabled me to effortlessly create an everyday eyeshadow look or a glittery smoky eye.
2. Beauty Blender Sponge
I sacrificed two BeautyBlender sponges this year. The small, pointed sponges became a staple in my makeup kit to apply face makeup. I adored my BeautyBlender this year because it is portable, easy to clean and is a quick tool to use daily.
3. MAC Fix+
My MAC Fix+ spray kept my makeup looking flawless all year. This light, refreshing mist solidified my daily makeup and I used it religiously. This spray also became a versatile mist to dampen brushes.
4. GlamGlow Super Mud Clearing Treatment
I spent most of the year testing different skincare products. My skin is acne-prone and I’ve tried a lot of products before I found a routine that works for me. I discovered GlamGlow’s Super Mud mask collection in October and it has dramatically cleared my breakouts. The mask became a perfect addition to my skincare routine this fall/winter.
What were your favourite makeup and skincare products to use in 2017?
The holiday season is a perfect time to experiment with bright, bold and glittery makeup. This year I plan to incorporate reds, glitter, and champagne colors into my makeup palette. I recently created one of my favorite looks for this blog post. I’ll share the steps I used to create it below!
I prepped my skin with Smashbox Photo Finish Primer to create a smooth canvas. For my foundation, I applied Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick Foundation to my entire face. I used the shade Warm Ivory. I covered any blemishes on my skin with concealer. For this look, I used NARS Cosmetics Radiant Creamy Concealer in the shade Chantilly. This concealer provides full coverage with a small amount of product. I finish my face makeup with blush and highlight. I applied the shades Sugar and Rose from the Anastasia Beverly Hills Pink Passion Blush Trio to my cheeks. Finally, I apply a highlight shade. For this look I used Luna from the Anastasia Beverly Hills Aurora Glow Kit.
I used a light concealer to prep my eyes for eyeshadow. To create this cranberry eyeshadow, I selected shades from the Hua Beauty Desert Dusk Palette. This palette features a combination of glitter and warm-toned shadows. I applied the following shadows to create this look:
- Musk – Base shadow applied to entire lid
- Saffron + Oud – Shadows applied to crease
- Concealer – Applied to entire lid to prep for glitter shadow
- Cosmo – Pure glitter applied to entire lid
To complete my eye makeup, I applied Kat Von D Tattoo Liner and Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara.
I paired my cranberry-inspired eyeshadow with a deep, matte red lipstick. The lipstick I selected for this look is MAC Cosmetics Matte Lipstick in the shade Diva.
I adore makeup wipes, I truly do. I use them every night to remove my makeup but I’ve never considered how my skin would react if I use them to cleanse. This challenge emerged from pure tiredness – toward the end of this semester I just felt too exhausted to engage in my usual skin care routine. Here’s what happened:
I tucked my beloved face cleansers away on Sunday night and armed myself with a package of Kirkland Signature Daily Facial Towelettes from my local Costco. I dreaded the idea of using just a wipe to cleanse my entire face. After the first night, I noticed a difference in my skin.
I woke on the first day and cleansed my face with water and a moist wipe. It felt soft and clean on my skin – the soft feeling is something I often miss with my regular face mask. I did not have high hopes for this challenge. While my skin felt softer, it didn’t feel like the product was doing anything.
Despite my hesitation the night before, my skin appeared soft and radiant the next morning. I noticed that two zits that were forming on my chin the previous week were becoming smaller. My pores looked minimized and my face looked moisturized.
On the third day I noticed better results. The wipes were clearing and cleansing my skin. Not only were my pimples disappearing, but the texture of my skin appeared smoother. The level of moisture in my skin increased which gave my skin a soft, plump look. My t-zone usually flares up with acne, but it remained smooth and pimple-free on the third day. Overall, the wipes helped my skin.
What products do you use to cleanse your skin?
It all started when my dog, Bear, ate my favourite blush compact. I glanced at the email advertising the Sephora V.I.B. Sale but did not take particular notice to it because I had nothing to buy. The following morning, my beloved NARS blush fell to the floor and was quickly destroyed. Bear ate the compact’s contents before I cleaned them up. Off to Sephora I headed.
My main purchase was a new blush, but I did select additional items while I browsed. Here is a peek into my VIB Sale Haul:
Anastasia Beverly Hills Blush Trio
This blush compact features 3 gorgeous pink-toned colours. My biggest concern when buying blush is finding colours that compliment my pale skin. The three shades in this compact deliver delicate pink tones. I normally skip very pink blush colours, but I decided to try them with this compact. The compact I bought the compact called Pool Party. This collection offers a mixture of coral, bright pink, and tan shades.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick Foundation
Finding a product that doubles as a concealer and foundation is a dream come true. This foundation is formatted as a stick, which makes it easy to apply to the face. I wore it as my foundation and concealer yesterday and it delivered a comfortable, full-coverage finish. It dried matte but not cakey on my skin. I bought this foundation in the shade Porcelain. This shade is suited for fair skin with cool undertones.
Too Faced Under the Kissletoe Liquified Lipstick Set
I was not initially a fan of Too Faced Liquid Lipstick formula. That being said, I decided to test out a few different formulas in the range. The Under the Kissletoe set is part of their holiday collection. The colours in the set range from a deep burgundy to a glossy nude. This fun set contains 4 lipsticks:
- Melted Liquid Lipstick in the shade Chihauhua – Dusty mauve
- Melted Lipstick in the shade Chocolate Honey – Warm-toned nude with brown undertones
- Melted Latex Lipstick in the shade Hopeless Romantic – Glossy beige-nude
- Melted Matte Lipstick in the shade Drop Dead Red – Matte burgundy
What did you buy during the Sephora VIB Sale?
My makeup and beauty routine definitely consumes most of the time I dedicate to getting ready each morning. Some mornings I go makeup-free. On days when I want a hint of colour on my bare face I employ a few simple tricks.
1. Gather a small, well-chosen team of products
Select 4-5 products that you always wear daily. I pare down my essential products to: concealer, mascara, blush and lipstick. I wear a full-coverage concealer that I apply to my entire face to double as foundation. Lining the lids with mascara quickly transforms it into an eyeliner dupe. If I want a little colour on my lids, I dot my favourite blush onto them.
2. Befriend a good dry shampoo
Dry shampoo works in a pinch when there’s no time to hop in the shower. It helps add volume to strands while reducing oil buildup. A quick tip when using dry shampoo? Spray it into the roots of hair before combing it through. This will distribute the product without leaving residue. I’ve tried a few different brands of dry shampoo, but my favourite one is John Frieda Volumizing Dry Shampoo
. 3. Plan a weekly maintenance night
If there are beauty habits you engage in weekly, it’s a good idea to devote a specific night to do them. Setting aside time to paint your nails and shave your legs saves you valuable time throughout the week.Do you engage in any beauty hacks to save time during the week?
I love to plan. I usually buy a new planner every January, but this year I decided to buy a new one in November. The planner I previously owned did not have adequate space for my daily scheduling and I know I’ll need more writing space once I head into a new internship in January.
What planner did I buy?
I bought a large, spacious planner from my local bookstore. This one originates from a brand called ban.do. It features a 17-month spread (August 2017-December 2018), color-coded tabs and yearly/monthly/weekly calendar pageviews. To satisfy my inner organized nerd, it even contains a coil-bound closure and internal pockets.
So, why did I buy a new one before the year ended?
This new planner serves two purposes:
- It tracks all my reminders – Important dates, reminders, and schedules popped up throughout this semester. I already used up a lot of space in my previous planner, and required more writing space to track everything. (Grad photos, party reminders, group work, etc.)
- I can schedule activities in advance – I already have a few important dates scheduled for 2018. This new planner allows me to write those dates and times without waiting until January.
Tips to set up a new planner
Setting up a new planner doesn’t need to be time-consuming. Here are three tips I use whenever I buy a new one:
- Transfer all important dates into your new planner before throwing the old one away
- Determine how you will colour-code your planner to organize it
How do you organize a new planner?
This season has brought me many things, but consistently clear skin is not one of those things. The state of my skin changes a lot and I’ve modified my skin care routine in response. (I’m currently sitting at my laptop with a charcoal mask smoothed across my face). Today I’m sharing why you need a dedicated skin care routine, and how you can make changes if your routine is just not working.
Why maintain a skin care routine?
Your hormone levels begin regulating between ages 22-25, but you may notice extra breakouts during certain times of the month. Engaging in a consistent skin care routine is beneficial for many reasons:
- The amount of collagen in your skin decreases in your late-20s and your skin’s barrier begins to thin. Sticking to a regular skincare routine ensures your skin continues to look youthful and radiant
- Your skin is a large barrier. It continuously protects you from toxins and other environmental effects. By engaging in a consistent routine, you’re helping your skin function at its best.
- With time, your skincare routine becomes a habit.
A few simple tips to help you maintain a skin care routine:
Developing and maintaining a skin care routine doesn’t have to be hard work! Here are a few of my favourite tips to regulate my daily and weekly cleansing:
- Use a moisturizer – A good moisturizer will keep your skin looking fresh and supple. Moisturizer protects your skin against wrinkles and reduces dryness.
- Exfoliate – Exfoliation rids the skin of dead skin cells which prevents the skin from appearing dry and dull
How do you care for your skin?
I rotate my must-have makeup items based on the season. With the fall season in full-swing, I focus on two main elements of my makeup collection: Hydration + Coverage. I change my foundation to adjust to changes in my skin (e.g. Dryness, dullness) and gravitate toward products that hydrate. Here are three of the items I’ll reach for all season:
- Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation
I adore the coverage of Kat Von D’s Lock-It Foundation. I wear it throughout the fall and winter when my skin is duller, drier, and not supple. This foundation provides a matte, full coverage finish that transforms my skin into a blank slate. It hides any imperfections and lasts all day. I wear the shade Light 44 Cool – a fair alabaster with cool undertones.
2. Clinique Moisture Surge Hydrating Supercharged Concentrate
This product is a lightweight water gel that hydrates the skin. (Essentially, a water-based moisturizer!) I like to wear a hydrating moisturizer and apply this after my skin care routine. My skin contains less moisture in the fall and this product is ideal for replenishing it. I favour this moisturizer because it does not leave residue on my skin and absorbs instantly.
3. Dark lipstick
Any lipsticks with a dark, vampy colour reminds me of fall. I wrote a post a few weeks ago that featured my favourite fall-inspired lipstick colours. Each colour featured in that post are colours I wear a lot during the season.
Fall-inspired: M.A.C. Cosmetics lipstick (Diva) combined with Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick (Vampira).
What items are in your Fall makeup bag?