Updated Skincare Routine (Night)

First off, let me just apologize for being away for a few days! I had some family over and a bunch of vet visits for Mr.Kitty (poor guy got neutered, but he’s doing well!) so I had my hands full. This post is just going to be a quick follow up to my last one, but the next few I have planned are going to be much more exciting, I promise!

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My night time routine has been dead simple for the past few months, and I’m really loving it.

Cleanse- After removing my makeup (I did a whole post on that here), I use the Ren Clearcalm Clay cleanser again and rinse it off with my hands, OR about once a week, I’ll use my Clarisonic (with the same cleanser) and get a nice deep clean.

Eye Cream- Then I’ll simply put on my Origins Eye Doctor eye cream (which to be honest I skip half the time at night if I’m too tired),

Treat- Finally I’ll apply my Retin-A 0.1% cream to my face and I’m done!

[About once every week or two, I also like to do a peel, but I'm going to have separate post on that shortly, so I won't get into that now!]

Happy reading! xx
- Nat

Updated Skincare Routine (Morning)

So it’s been a few months since my last skincare routine, and soo much has changed since then that I figured it was time to update y’all. My skin had a minor major freak out these past couple of months, and I had to adjust the products that I was using to accommodate for it’s needs. Most of the products (if not all) have changed from the last routine I posted, and these products focus a little bit more on acne than before. This will be my morning routine, so let’s get started!

[Just FYI my skin is combination dry/oily/confused haha. I have a slightly oily t-zone (mainly my nose) and the rest of my face is slightly on the drier side. It's also super sensitive and can be acne-prone at times. It's crazy. I know.]

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Cleanse- I start off by cleansing my face (duh), and I use the Ren Clearcalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser which I did an entire review on here. Then about once or twice a week I’ll use a scrub to manually exfoliate and get off any dead skin and help to buff away dry patches. To do this, I’m still loving the Michael Todd Tropical Fruit Enzyme Exfoliant Scrub. 

(Tone)- This is in brackets because it isn’t something that I do every morning. I only use this particular product, the Clinique Acne Solutions Clarifying Lotion when I’m having a breakout situation, as the salicylic acid in it really helps to calm down any flare up that I may be experiencing. I used to use this years ago, but stopped because the alcohol in it was a little too drying. However, I’ve recently got back into using it, as it really does make a difference in my skin.

Eye Cream- This Origins Eye Doctor eye cream is the freaking bomb dot com. I was having a lot of trouble with dry skin around the eyes lately, and I can honestly say that since I’ve been using this, I haven’t really had that problem anymore. It’s a very thick cream, but doesn’t feel to heavy or greasy on the skin, and I’ve really been loving it.

Serum- I’m huge on vitamin C serums, because they react with my skin really well. I’ve used quite a few in the past, but the one that I’ve been using and really enjoying lately is the Nature’s Best Vitamin C Serum that I got off of Amazon (okay seriously, what DON’T I get from Amazon?). It’s really light weight and fast absorbing, and doesn’t leave a tacky film like some serums do.

Moisturize/SPF- On a day where my skin isn’t too dry, I can get away with using the Cetaphil Dermacontrol Oil Control Moisturizer on its own. It contains SPF 30, but doesn’t feel thick or leave a white cast like SPF products do. I’m super diligent on SPF, as I have some hyper pigmentation, and am definitely not interested in making it any worse. If my skin is feeling super dry, I’ll put a slightly thicker moisturizer on top, such as the Ren Vita Mineral Daily Supplement Moisturizing Cream (I love you, Ren, but please shorten your product names), or any other one that I’m liking at the moment.

And Voila! It’s a pretty basic routine, and it really has helped a lot with my skin over the past little while. I will note that I do use a chemical exfoliant about once a week, but I can do a completely separate post on peels and what not so that I can go into further depth with it.

Happy reading!
- Nat

HAUL: The Body Shop (again)

Happy Tuesday lovelies!

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I recently picked up some goodies from the Body Shop both in store and online, and I thought I would share them with you all! I haven’t used all the products as of yet, so I can only give you my first impressions on some of them, but nonetheless I hope you enjoy!

Vitamin E Aquaboost Sorbet- The people who created this stuff must have read my mind, because it claims to be everything I could ever want in a moisturizer (if only it had SPF). ’24 hr moisture quench, aqua-light texture’. UM YES could I have 4000 bottles of this please? I’ve used it a couple of times since I’ve gotten it and it has a veryyyy strange texture, but is super lightweight and moisturizing like it claims to be.

Mask Samples- I picked up samples of the ‘Tea Tree’, ‘Vitamin E Sink-In Moisture’ and ‘Seaweed Iconic Clay’ masks. I’ve only used the Tea Tree one before, but as I’m doing a little bit of travelling next month, I figured I would grab a couple of sample packs to take with me (because I can’t go a week without putting a mask or two on, duhh). And it would also be a good opportunity to try out some of the other masks that the Body Shop do.

Colour Crush Lipsticks- I picked up one of these in my last Body Shop haul (that you can check out here), and because I liked it so much, I decided to go out on a whim and order two more online. I got shade ’240′ and ’200′ and these colours are totally up my alley. Here are the swatches:

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Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Balm and Muslin Cloth- Am I the only one who likes the world ‘sumptuous’? Sum-tu-ous. Ou. I have the cleansing oil from this line, and I love it, but I wanted something a little more travel friendly, so I picked up the solid balm. I also got suckered into getting the matching muslin cloth to take the balm off with, but hey, what else is new. I haven’t tried it, but I have heard awesome things about it, so I’m sure I’ll love it.

Have you guys tried any of these products?
- Nat xx

 

 

Kylie Jenner Inspired Lips (Drugstore)

Everyone and their dear dead grandma seems to be gushing over Kylie Jenners new lip look, and for good reason! It’s absolutely gorgeous! I was playing around with some of my lipsticks and found a few that look pretty similar to the lip colour she’s been rocking lately (not to mention that it’s all drugstore products!). So I thought I would share with you all the 3 little lippies I used to get these lips:

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I lined my lips with the NYX lipliner in ’810 Neutral’ and slightly overdrew them to give that plump lip look that Kylie has been rocking lately (I looove this lipliners; here’s my review on them). Then I followed up with a coat of the Revlon Super Lustrous Matte Lipstick in ’008 Cocoa Craving’. Finally I applied a bit of the Rimmel Lasting Finish lipstick in ‘Asia’ to add a more pinky tone to the lips so they weren’t completely brown. And voila! You can choose to blot them to get rid of the shine and make them completely matte, but I prefer this look with a slight sheen to it.

Here’s what the swatches of the individual colours look like:

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Have you guys found a good Kylie-inspired lip combo?

-Nat xx

Battle of the Bronzers

 

photo 3-1Hi all! I was digging through my makeup stash today, and I came across a bunch of bronzers which I haven’t really talked about much here on my blog. So I decided to compare 5 of them and give you the pros and cons of each!

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation in ’340 Cappuccino’- Okay this one is technically not a bronzer, but it’s pretty kickass as a contour stick. The creamy texture of it makes it super easy to apply and blend, and doesn’t leave that chalky finish that some powder products can give you. It can be slightly orangey, but other than that, it’s awesome.

Physicians Formula Sexy Booster Bronzer- This isn’t something that I particularly like to use as a ‘bronzer’, because it doesn’t have much colour pay-off. The perimeter is a deeper brown colour, but swatches very light, and the middle is a shimmery gold. Because of that, I like to use it more as a bronzy blush and highlight, instead of an actual bronzer.

The Balm’s ‘Bahama Mama’- I actually really disliked this product when I first got it, because it looked super muddy on me. However, after months of playing with it, I’ve finally gotten the hang of using it and it’s pretty good! I think the initial problem I had with this was that I used too much, which ended up packing way too much colour onto my skin. Since this product is so so so pigmented, the trick I’ve found is to use the tinniest amount and build up. It’s great because it’s much more cool toned than other bronzers I’ve tried, and therefore doesn’t make me look like an oompa-loompa. I also prefer this more to contour than to put around my entire face, as the shade is awesome as a contour colour.

NYC Bronzer in ‘Sunny’- This is a classic, and for good reason. It works really nicely as both a contour and overall bronzer shade. I do wish it was slightly more pigmented, but then again it helps to make sure that you don’t go overboard with the colour.

Vasanti ‘Brazilian Bronzer’- This is an awesome all-around bronzer. It is sightly orangey, which can be a little annoying, but if you don’t put too much on and blend really well, I find that it gives a really good natural glow to the skin. It also has a nice sheen to it which acts as a highlight as well.

Here’s a look at the swatches:

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Happy reading!
- Nat

 

Review: L’Oreal Miss Manga Mascara

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I’ve seen this mascara popping around on blogs and in stores lately, so I decided to give it a whirl. I haven’t had the greatest experience with L’Oreal mascaras in the past, but I’m pretty obsessed with their Voluminous Carbon Black, so this being another product from their ‘Voluminious’ line really got me interested.

Let me just start off by saying that the brush really scared me at first. It’s very spiky looking, and I usually prefer plastic brushes (like the Covergirl Lashblast) over super fibrey ones like this. However, when applied, it’s not too bad, but I think it definitely does contribute to the slightly spider-lash appearance (which I personally am not crazy about). The formula of this is nice and volumizing, but more wet than the original Voluminous, which I believe helps the mascara add some length. Since it is much more wet than other mascaras that I’m used to,  it tends to smear quite easily on my lid during application, and can get very spidery. Because of that, I tend to limit myself to only two coats of mascara, or else my already-long lashes will look quite tarantula like (not a good look).

Here’s what the brush looks like (yikes!):
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I found application to be a little bit of a hassle too, because of the extremely bendy tip of the brush. It’s unnecessarily over-flexible, and doesn’t allow me to get a super firm grip on the base of my lashes because it bends so easily. I did however like the tapered shape of the wand, because it made it easier to get into the inner corners. I haven’t tried this on my bottom lashes, but it really does stay put on the top lashes once it’s set. In fact, it was much more difficult to take off my lashes at the end of the day than any other mascara that I’ve tried (and no, I didn’t use the waterproof formula!).

Pros:
- volumizing
- easy to get to inner corner of lashes
- stays put

Cons:
- wand is too flexible
- difficult to remove
- results in clumpy/spidery lashes

All in all, I’d give this mascara maybeeee a 7 out of 10 because it is quite volumizing. But it definitely didn’t ‘wow’ me, and I probably won’t be purchasing it again. However, if you are into spider lashes, then this one would be a great choice! I’m hoping that the formula will dry up a bit in a few weeks, which will make it a bit less clumpy (fingers crossed).

- Nat xx

Review: Zeagoo Waterproof Lipgloss

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I picked these random bits up off of Amazon on a whim, after hearing them mentioned in a YouTube video a few weeks ago. They are called ‘lipglosses’ but they are the opposite of a gloss. In fact, these are the most matte lip products I have ever come across. They apply shiny, but dry completely matte. They are extremely opaque, and dry quite quickly. Because of that, you need to work with them quite quickly as they don’t budge after. I need to physically scrub my lips to get this stuff off, which I guess is both a curse and a blessing! Once on the lips, the only place it tends to fade is on the inside, especially while eating, so reapplication is inevitable. However, while the application is very smooth, it tends to leave a slightly tacky texture no matter what, even when it’s completely dry. It can also be slightly drying on the lips, but that’s expected with most matte lip creams.

I love the colours ’03′ which is a nice pinky-brown nude, and ’33′ which is a gorgeous deep, deep, red. The other two shades, ’01′ and ’13′ are a little too out there for me. Below are the swatches:

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Shades from left to right: 13, 01, 03, 33

They have a huge colour selection on Amazon so check them out here!

Pros:
- very opaque
- dries fast
- long wearing
- very affordable
- good colour selection

Cons:
- slightly drying
- tacky/sticky feeling on the lips

Overall, for the ridiculously low price point, I’m pretty impressed with these random finds. As they offer free shipping, I’d recommend checking a few colours out for yourself!

Review: Garnier Ambre Solaire BB Cream

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BB creams always catch my eye, as they claim to do so many things that sound completely fabulous to me. Oh, SPF 30, non-greasy, skin tone correcting? Don’t mind if I do. Summer is a great time to test out BB creams, because who really wants to wear a full face of foundation when its 30+ degrees outside (not me)? I usually have good experiences with Garnier products, so I decided to give this a whirl.

This may or may not be a European brand, as I picked it up online, and haven’t seen it in any of my local Canadian stores. However, online I was unable to choose colours, so I’m assuming that it comes in one standard shade, which is for ‘tanned fair skin’. As for colour matching, it is slightly dark for me, and a little bit on the orangey side. I didn’t expect it to be so dark, but I’m sure that as I get a little more tan, it will match me much better. The formula is quite thick as well, but surprisingly not as moisturizing as I thought it would be. I find that I need to apply a separate moisturizer in some drier areas of my face prior to applying this, or it clings to the dry patches.

Here’s what it looks like before and after it is blended in. The camera doesn’t pick it up too well, but it does have a slightly orangey tint to it in person.

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As far as coverage, it definitely is light coverage, as most BB creams are. It evens out my skin tone, but doesn’t do much to cover up any hyper pigmentation or blemishes that I currently have. It leaves a dewy finish to the skin, which is what I usually prefer, but can tend to get a bit oily by the end of the day.  It also contains a nice amount of SPF which is great if you’re a sun bunny like I am.

Pros:
- affordable
- doesn’t break me out
- SPF 30
- evens out skin tone

Cons:
- poor colour selection
- thick/greasy to apply
- very light coverage

I do wish that the colour selection was a bit better, and that it didn’t get oily throughout the day. All in all, I’m not blown away by this product, but it’s decent for someone who is a bit more tan and needs very little coverage.

Happy reading!
- Nat

June Favourites!

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Ahh, I cannot believe it’s already July. Insane. Not to mention that WordPress decided to do a funky update while I was gone for a few days (not sure if I’m digging it yet). But to kick off this month, I thought I would share with you all the things that I was loving all of last month, including mini reviews on each of them. So let’s get started!

Elizabeth and James Nirvana for Her rollerball in ‘Black’- I picked this up over a month ago with my Sephora point perks and it was on a bit of a whim. I had heard really good things about this particular fragrance, but I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it, as I’m quite particular about the scents I like. But let me tell you that this stuff is AMAZING. It’s unlike any other scent that I own, and it’s absolutely spellbinding. I’m horrible at explaining scents, but the best way to describe it would be to say that it has a very strong, deep floral scent, with a bit of muskiness to it. If that made no sense, I’d recommend taking a whiff of it at your local Sephora, like, right now.

L’Oreal Magic Lumi Light Infusing Primer- I mentioned this in my last post when I discussed what I like to do to keep my skin looking dewy, and this has been something I have been reaching for all month long. Instead of applying this directly to my skin as a primer, I like to mix a pump of it with my Mac Prolongwear Concealer, and use that all over my face as a dewy foundation. It works amazingly well, and doesn’t irritate my skin at all.

Body Shop Lightening Touch in ’04′- Again, going along with the theme of highlighting (what else is new with me?), this highlighting pen has been wonderful. I picked this up a few months ago, and recently started getting into using it regularly and I love it. It’s a very peachy toned highlighter, which makes it great at not only brightening up my face, but also helping to cancel that wonderful (not) discolouration and darkness that I have underneath my eyes. The Body Shop do a couple of other shades with this too, so check it out next time you’re in store!

Beauty Blender Knockoff- I’ll be the first to admit that I have never tried the actual Beauty Blender because nothing, and I mean NOTHING can justify me spending that much on a sponge. I have however, through trial and error, found a great knockoff off of Amazon, which I’ve been loving using lately! I don’t know how it compares to the original, but it’s the best one that I’ve found, and it makes applying foundation and highlighter on my face a breeze. Not to mention that it makes everything melt onto my skin, which is perfect when you’re not trying to look like you’re wearing three pumps of foundation ;)

Revlon Moondrops Lipstick in ’702 Apricot’- I mentioned this in my haul a few weeks ago, and it has surprisingly become one of my favourite lipsticks to wear. The formula is very creamy, and leaves a nice subtle sheen to it. Not to mention that the orangey-coral colour looks great with a tan, and is super in right now.

Alba Botanica Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30- I initially bought this for my face, as it claims to be a facial sunscreen. However, despite the claims, I found it to be too greasy. I do however love it for my body! I find that it absorbs faster than other ones I’ve tried, and while it is thicker, it seems to stay on a bit longer, and offer more protection compared to sunscreens I’ve used in the past. Not to mention that Alba Botanicals is a great vegan company!

Here are some swatches of some products that I mentioned:

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What stuff did you guys enjoy this month?
- Nat xx

 

My Dewy Skin Secrets

Happy Canada Day!

Now, I don’t want to sound like I’m tooting my own horn, but I often get compliments on how glowy my skin looks. This is totally something I gush over, because I work hard to make my skin look really dewy, and it’s nice when someone notices! In this post, I’ll be talking about some of the tips and tricks I use to make my skin glow!

  1. Exfoliate- Okay, I’ve honestly mentioned this many-a-times now (check out my exfoliation post here), but it really is an important step in bringing out that glow! Your skin’s natural sheen won’t be able to come through with all that dull, dead skin sitting on top, so give yourself a nice (but gentle) manual scrub before your next big event, and let you inner radiance shine through ;)
  2. Add an illuminator or illuminating primer to your foundation- When my skin is being super bleh, I cheat by taking a pump of my fave L’Oreal Magic Lumi Light Infusing Primer and mixing it into my foundation before I apply. This is a little sneakier than using a highlighter on top of your foundation, as it’s less obvious and looks like your skin is glowing naturally. For those of you who are super oily, I suggest just dotting it onto the high points of your face to prevent yourself from looking like an oil slick.
  3. Don’t over powder- I really don’t like powder, but sometimes it’s necessary to set your makeup and get rid of any unwanted shine. But for those of you combo-skin girls like myself must know, powdering your entire face can definitely get rid of a shiny nose, but it can also make your cheeks and other drier areas look completely matte and dull. So go easy on the powder, and use it only on the areas that you need; for me that’s under my eyes, and on my nose and forehead. Let you skin’s natural glow shine through everywhere else! I also suggest getting a really nice finely milled loose powder, as they usually leave a more natural sheen to the skin (check out my fave here).
  4. Water- This is a seeeerious one, ladies! I can honestly tell you that my skin looks so much more plump and glowy when I regularly take in a good amount of water. It really does help to hydrate your body from the inside out, and your skin will thank you for it!
  5. Setting your makeup with a mist- I’m not saying to splurge on a $30 bottle of makeup setting spray, but just adding a light mist of a facial toner, or even water, can help to get rid of that powdery, matte look, and give your skin a bit of a subtle sheen to it.

Happy Reading!
- Nat xx