November 2016 Empties

While I wasn’t blogging or was hardly blogging at all, I was still using beauty products and gathering thoughts that I was itching to share. Truth be told, they amounted to such a degree that I may have thrown out some of the less interesting products that I finished. However, I held onto the more interesting ones and today I’m going to share a hopefully abridged version of my thoughts on these products. The funny thing is that I thought I would be overjoyed to have used up so many skincare products but I learned that I was somewhat sad to no longer have some of these in my life. Spoiler alert: there’s loads of skincare ahead.

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  1. L’Oreal True Match Lumi Cushion in W2 ($22-26/0.51 ounces)

I’m starting with the most shocking product here – a finished face product and one that I purchased not even six months ago at that. I adored this cushion foundation so much that I reached for it every single day that I wore makeup for months on end and actually repurchased it without a thought – not something that this foundation hoarder hardly ever does. It’s my favourite tinted moisturizer kind of product, with light-medium coverage and an undetectable dewy skin kind of finish.

2. Rimmel Volume Colourist Mascara ($9.99/ 11 mLs)

I should start by noting that I got this mascara for free to try by chance at work, not that that sways my opinion on it in the very least. It was a good medium wetness mascara that offered a nice amount of volume to the lashes but obviously it did not darken my lashes by any means. There was something about it that I found left my sensitive eyes irritated by the end of the day. I wouldn’t repurchase but the formula was nice for volume and I quite liked the large natural bristle wand.

3. Equate Mega Hold Styling Gel ($2.27/355 mLs)

I have naturally wavy/curly hair that I wear in its natural state – when I’m not lazy and leave it permanently coiled to the top of my head in a bun as I have of late – and I do try to follow the Curly Girl Method. I picked up this cheap-o gel because it was silicone free and had a similar ingredient profile to the LA Looks gels that I don’t have access to here in Canada. It was nice but not holy-grail status, leaving hold to my hair that was not helmet-like. I wouldn’t repurchase as I own so many gels, but I did enjoy this, particularly diluted with water and conditioner as a refresher. And this is it for the non-skincare items.

4.Paula’s Choice RESIST Daily Smoothing Treatment 5% AHA ($33 US/50 mLs) | review

Since I’ve been out of this lotion-textured AHA/BHA combo product for over six months, I’m in complete disbelief that I have yet to include it in one of these ‘finished products’ posts. I’ve talked about how much I love this combination lower concentration of AHA and 0.5% BHA serum-exfoliant hybrid time and time again because of the manner that it makes it easier to tolerate these acids on a daily basis, while injecting your skin with a nice dose of peptides, ceramides, anti-irritants and antioxidants. I’ve managed to hold of repurchasing thus far but I will try it again in the future.

5. Paula’s Choice RESIST Intensive Repair Cream with Retinol ($33 US/ 50 mLs)

This ultra-soothing and nourishing cream wasn’t necessarily a wow product for me – but do keep in mind that I purchased it for the barrier-healing and soothing properties rather than the distinctive anti-aging ones – but it was excellent at keeping my skin from becoming flaky, dry and irritated. I hadn’t realized how great this cream was until I ran out of it suddenly – after a year of use. It does contain petrolatum, which some would detest but I didn’t mind as it keeps moisture in the skin and protects from the outside elements. It had an impressive ingredient list for a moisturizer as well, with a multitude of cell communicating ingredients (including the retinol), antioxidants, ceramides and peptides. Its rich texture was a god-send for my truly dry patches, but it would be too much for someone with oilier areas.

6. Paula’s Choice CALM Redness Relief Repairing Serum ($34 US/30 mL)

To be honest, I’m not sure whether I want to repurchase this product or not at the moment for any reason other than to try it again to determine whether or not it is repurchase-worthy. Unlike the previous two products that I’ve mentioned, this was not a product where I found a little to go a long way and, consequently, I went through this product very quickly. It was quite possibly because the product was so lightweight and weightless while providing the deep hydration, hefty dose of hyaluronic acid along with antioxidants and anti-irritants. It was definitely soothing and hydrating but I’m not sure that it’s the serum for me and my concerns. It might be more suited for a dehydrated and combination or oily skinned individual.

7. Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Daily Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 ($29 US/60 mLs) | review

I would normally say that this moisturizer-sunscreen hybrid was impressive in its ability to provide sun protection that my uber-sensitive skin can tolerate without dryness or irritation, but not impressive enough to rewarrant an instant repurchase, however, I accidentally repurchased the same product under a different name. The last time I ordered from Paula’s Choice, I quickly added the CALM Redness Relief (Normal to Dry) SPF 30 Mineral Moisturizer to my cart because it promised mineral protection and soothing hydration. Little did I realize, that it’s the same formula repackaged. I do really like this stuff, though, as it does not irritate my skin and is hydrating, with its antioxidant and anti-irritant rich formula.

8. Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask ($32/100 mLs) | review

Given that this product is essentially a mix of emollients and nourishing plant oils with a side order of potentially irritating essential oil derived fragrance, I shouldn’t love it as much as I do. I’ve currently got the Paula’s Choice Radiance Renewal Mask on the go but I do plan on purchasing this one afterwards. It leaves my skin plump and dewy afterwards, even when my skin is sahara-desert dry and miraculously does not seem to irritate my skin – I do feel a slight tingle when I apply it after I’ve gone a little too intense on the acids or retinoid front. I do also like that you get a lot more product than you would expect of this overnight mask. I will warn you all that this is a seriously thick and rich cream.

9. Naisture Pearl Mask Pack ($7.99/110 mLs)

I’m someone who enjoys a good sheet mask – which should not be surprising as they are particularly good for dehydrated skin types like mine – but I find that even drugstore offerings are obscenely expensive for the single use that they offer. I like purchasing these packs of five that they always seem to have at my local Winners as they offer more bang for your buck and have nice ingredients. These ones were pretty nice, hydrating and soothing with trehalose (a hydrator), shea butter, betaine (an amino acid) and panthenol (an anti-irritant), all in decent concentrations. I would recommend these but I won’t necessarily repurchase these exact ones.

10. Laneige Bright Renew Original Serum ($59/40 mLs)

If this brightening serum did not include so much unnecessary fragrance – it smells like a designer fragrance and contains a hefty dose of it – I wouldn’t have any reservations about repurchasing the serum. Luckily, my skin tends to be much more bothered by essential oils than fragrance itself but this milk-textured brightening serum would be an easy to recommend brightening offering without them. I saw results from this serum but not drastic ones – but keep in mind here that my skin tone is much less dull than it used to be and my regimented sunscreen and vitamin c use has left me with little hyper pigmentation – and found myself quite enjoying the formula. It has an impressive amount of squalene, niacinamide, liquorice root extract and reservatrol and I found that it was soothing, hydrating and brightening as a result. Although the texture and ingredients are different, it reminded me of Indeed Labs Pepta-Bright. I’m still thinking about repurchasing this…

Any thoughts?
Maggie, x.

 

 

Skincare Sunday

As much as I love getting glammed up, – especially on the makeup front – there is nothing that I love more than a low key, relaxing day, where nothing strenuous is done AND  there is no expectation of looking pulled together. For me, this day is typically reserved for Sundays. I’m also quite a fan of dedicating some extra time to the skincare routine or ritual, and doing that whole pampering thing. I’ve mentioned recently that with the cold weather coming – there is snow on the ground now, after all – I’ve been dedicated to sticking to a twice-daily routine for maintaining my stressed, sensitive and dehydrated skin. However, I do like spending the extra time and doing something extra once or twice a week. This often falls on the Sunday, partly because of habit and partly because of my decree that it’s a makeup-free day. Here’s a rundown of today’s routine:

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  1. Sunday Riley Blue Moon Tranquility Cleansing Balm ($60): When you’ve been fighting off a cold and the cold that I have been doing, a nourishing balm cleanser is an appealing place to start. I happily started the whole ritual with my smaller size of the essential oil laden balm – that I got in the Sephora Favourites Beauty Sleep Kit – despite my tumultuous relationship with essential oils. It feels nourishing and soothing on the skin, even with its slightly grittier texture.
  2. Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask ($20): After cleansing, I like to use some mask and the one I use will depend on my skin condition at the moment. I was feeling in need of some exfoliating and brightening action so I reached for this glycolic-acid, pumpkin and honey based option. I find it truly does provide some exfoliating action but I find that I can’t apply too much without finding it a bit irritating – with the cinnamon, pineapple juice and clove in the formula. The fact that its housed in jar packaging does irritate me to no end because it destabilizes all of the beneficial antioxidants and soothing extracts in the formula. I left it on for a half hour before removing with some water. This is a fun product to use but it by no means replaces a leave-on chemical exfoliant…
  3. Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Enriched Calming Toner ($21 US): This time of year, I can hardly wash my face without applying a soothing milky toner afterwords and this one is my absolute favourite. I’ve raved about the way in which it also acts as a serum  with its evening primrose oil, myriad of antioxidants and anti-irritants and weightless formula.
  4. Olay Eyes Ultimate Eye Cream ($40): This is the first dedicated eye cream that I’ve ever tried and, to be honest, I tend to just use my facial moisturizer around the eyes most of the time – there really should not be much of a difference between eye and face creams – but I do like patting this simple but impressive formula around the eye area when I want some extra oomph. It has the subtlest peachy tint that helps to brighten the under-eye region in an undetectable way but most of all, I love that it’s fragrance free and contains both a peptide and skin-repairing niacinamide higher up in the ingredient list. It’s in a jar but at least there are no antioxidants in the formula to begin with…
  5. Aura Cacia Rosehip Oil ($15): I’m afraid that I have no product to show for this one because I’m at the very end and have transferred the antioxidant-rich plant oil into another container to finish it. However, I did apply the amber-hued antioxidant rich oil that combines the vitamin c and a that naturally occurs in soothing rosehip will with vitamin e in pressing motions over the face along with on my sensitive neck and chest. It works and doesn’t break the bank.
  6. Paula’s Choice Radiance Renewal Mask ($36 US): While it certainly is not ultra-affordable. as Paula’s brand has notably increased their prices in the last year or two 0 – and even more so for Canadians, as the Canadian dollar is horrific at the moment  – her foray into the world of leave-on masks has impressed me. It has a nourishing-but-lightweight gel texture that I think would suit a myriad of skin types but the most impressive thing is that it doesn’t contain fragrance and instead, has niacin amide, arbutin, vitamin c and hyaluronic acid. When I want an extra boost of moisture, I use this kind of product underneath my sunscreen-containing moisturizer.
  7. Paula’s Choice Calm Redness Relief SPF 30 Mineral Moisturizer ($29 US): Rain or shine, you must use SPF to keep your skin looking, feeling and acting the most optimal way. I use this mineral formula because I find it actually hydrating and my skin can actually tolerate its actives without being irritated. Note: this is an identical formula to the company’s Skin Recovery offering.
  8. La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 ($16): When you have lips that are as sensitive and as naturally chapped as mine are, a lip balm that does more than temporarily seal in the moisture is a necessity. I quite like this multipurpose balm that soothes any sort of dry or chapped area with the humectant, panthenol, and shea butter.

I had intended this post to be much more of a quick overview of the products that I reach for for an indulgent weekly regime but I see that ship has sailed.

What products do you reach for when you are in need of some extra skin pampering?
Maggie, x.

The Review | Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation

Long time, no foundation review, eh? Rest assured, I have not become any less obsessed with foundations in my quest to find one to cover imperfections whilst imparting the perfect glow to the skin – although I must pat myself on the back for my restraint on the buying front as of late. I’m coming at you with a review of a foundation that (spoiler alert) might just be one of the very few that approach holy grail status and demand repurchase but here are the details. At the moment, I’m dealing with a cold and that hormonal time of the month, so my skin is not at its finest – a little angry and congested, and a lot dehydrated – and I figured it would be an excellent time to show you how it performs over less-than-smooth skin.

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The Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation ($68/ ounce) is a cult favourite of makeup artists and and I’d say that this is likely because it is a foundation that does what it says. The claims that the brand boasts of aren’t complex – they claim that it’s a lightweight foundation that achieves a seamless radiant finish that’s reminiscent of silk – but it’s a refreshing change to review a product that’s not marketed as a skin miracle in a bottle. I knew that I wanted to try the foundation as soon as Armani launched on Sephora last year and I don’t regret it in the slightest. It provides medium buildable coverage that feels lightweight, looks luminous but lasts. It is almost undetectable on the skin but it has a perfecting or airbrushed quality to it. The foundation does not have the dewiest finish ever, but instead sits somewhere in between a luminous and a satin finish – read: the luminosity of this foundation comes off as emanating from within the skin rather than from visible particles or shine.

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Ingredients: WATER, CYCLOPENTASILOXANE, GLYCERIN, ISODECANE, ALCOHOL DENAT, POLYGLYCERYL-40ISOSTERATE, CETYL PEG/PPG-10/1 DIMETHICONE, HEXYL LAUREATE, ALUMINUM STARCH OCTENYLSUCCINATE, DISTERDIMONIUM HECTORITE, PHENOXYETHANOL, ACETYLATED GLYCOL STERATE, MAGNESIUM SULFATE, PEG-10 DIMETHICONE, TRIHYDROXYSTEARIN, CELLULOSE GUM, NYLON-12, LIMONENE, BENZYL SALICYLATE, BENZYL ALCOHOL, LINALOOL, DIPHENYL DIMETHICONE, ACRYLATES COPOLYMER, PARFUM, DISODIUM STEAROYL GLUTAMATE, METHYLPARABEN, BUTYLPHENYL METHYLPROPINOL, ALUMINUM HYDROXIDE, HEXYL CINNAMAL.

Ingredient-wise, it’s not my ideal foundation because it does include drying alcohol – which is what gives it its weightless feel and texture – and irritating fragrance actives, but it performs so well, providing both lasting coverage and a luminous look to the skin that I’m not bothered by it. It does not contain SPF but that doesn’t bother me because my skin is so finicky to SPF actives that I like to choose a separate product and because it makes it a great flash photography foundation. Unlike some truly dewy foundations, Luminous Silk does set on the skin so it would not be ideal for severe dry patches and flaking, however, it is ideal for those who want some glow while giving their skin a blurring effect and coverage of imperfections. I don’t find that it clings to texture or small dry patches and I find that it wears beyond the 12 hour mark on me without issues.

I will mention that while the shade range is quite good, is confused the living hell out of me. I wear shade 2 – the lightest in the range I believe – which has a nice beige undertone but is a wee bit to pale for me. It matches my pale beyond belief neck that somehow is always 1-2 shades fairer than the rest of my body. It works well for me in the winter months, especially because I like contouring and adding some warmth on the daily but it could match someone about a shade fairer than me. As far as I understand, the range is numbered in terms of undertone – integers denoting neutral undertones, 0.25/0.75s denoting pink undertones and 0.5s indicating golden shades. Next time, I think I would try shade 4.

Because I had applied my skincare products hours before and my skin had drunk them up. I went in with the Make Up For Every Hydrating Primer to give the foundation a layer to stick to, although my moisturizer would have sufficed, if it hadn’t been applied so long ago. I applied one pump of the foundation with a buffing brush and did not set with powder, conceal my face or use any sort of setting spray.

Have you tried GA Luminous Silk?
Maggie, x

October 2016 Favourites

A monthly favourites post written by me and posted on time in 2016? Quelle horreur. Joking aside, I’ve been getting my beauty mojo back in the last month or so and I’m quite excited to share the standout products here. For the first time ever, the list isn’t even that long.

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OPI Nail Lacquer in Squeaker of the House: OPI’s fall collection, “Washington DC” has been one of the most exciting ones in years and I’ve ended up buying three of the shades and enjoying them all, however, this slightly warm medium taupe has made me fall in love. I love these taupe kind of shades but this one is unique because it has that touch of warm brown that most of these shades like, which can be much more flattering to a neutral or warm complexion. It’s so close to being opaque in a single coat but I suppose its more of an effortless two coater that almost applies itself, drying even and glossy on the nails.

KB Shimmer Don’t Play Koi: Back in September, I ordered my first indie nail polishes from Harlow & Co and while I’ve enjoyed them as a whole, this crelly and glitter mix has been my favourite and most worn. It has a sheerer white base that does not become even or opaque until two or three coats and is filled with matte grey and coral hex glitters and iridescent turquoise glitters of various sizes. On the nails, it has an interesting effect where the glitters peek through underneath the white base. Getting used to apply these formulas has been quite a learning curve – having to focus on evening out the base, while making sure to fish out the glitters and apply the across the nail.

Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Enriched Calming Toner: Ever since Fall has hit and the humidity has died off, the weather has gotten chilly and we’ve been cranking up the heat, I’ve been obsessively patting on this milky toner after cleansing. It’s been a saviour, adding back barrier repairing and hydrating ingredients after cleansing – including antioxidant rich plant oils, hyaluronic acid and vitamins A and C – that you typically would find in a serum product, in the toner stage. Layering this milky toner feels like a breath of fresh air to my finicky skin and it definitely helps with keeping my skin soothed and hydrated throughout the day.

Aveeno Ultra Calming Makeup Removing Wipes: While I’ve been into indulging in a full-on skincare routine throughout the month, I do admit that at other times I’ve been quite lazy, just wanting to remove my makeup without the effort of going to the sink. These wipes are my favourite for this because they do remove makeup effectively but they do so without drying out my skin or causing any sort of irritation. The cloths are saturated with a  liquid that not only is formulated without alcohol or detergents but also are slightly hydrating and milky on the skin. I’m really not a fan of fragrance in skincare, but I do enjoy the calming spa-like scent.

L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Glow Foundation: I easily (and happily) wore this more recently released drugstore face offering five out of every six times that I wore makeup throughout October. More than that, I think that I can happily now add this to my roster of favourite foundations. It has nice medium buildable coverage but what’s truly impressive about the formula is that it reads like naturally luminous skin and has that light and weightless texture typically reserved for higher end offerings. I don’t love that denatured alcohol is one of the first ingredients but I’m willing to accept it on account of how nicely the formula sits over dry patches and how it makes my skin look and feel. I’m shocked that more people don’t speak highly of this foundation.

Clinique Cheek Pop in Rosy Pop: Despite being a self-professed blush addict, I hadn’t really been reaching for blushes throughout the summer and, instead, I had been on a strict bronzer kick. However, I once I pulled out this slightly warm toned rosy shade, I was back into that whole blush thing. The shade is bright but I like how it can be easily sheered out for that flattering flush on the cheeks. I’m normally into ultra-glowy blushes but the satin finish on this one is flattering as well.

Have you tried any of these? Do you have any favourites to share?
Maggie, x.

 

 

 

A Weekend Wishlist

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  • The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% & Hyaluronic Acid 2% ($6.50): From the moment that I heard about the whole no bullshit and marketing hype mentality concept of The Ordinary brand and read into the effective ingredients they have and none of the irritants, I was intrigued by the brand. Now that I’ve discovered that Well.ca sells the brand, I want to try this hydrating and soothing acid exfoliant more than anything. It shouldn’t be a surprise given my love of well-formulated chemical exfoliants.
  • Paula’s Choice Radiance Renewal Mask ($36 US): Especially in the cooler months, I have a thing for slathering on these overnight masks before bed to add on the hydration and soothing factor. However, many of those on the market aren’t really loaded with beneficial ingredients – until this niacinamide-laden one launched. It also has soothing antioxidants, hyaluronic acid and a myriad of brightening ingredients. I couldn’t resist ordering when the company had a sale – so its currently on the way to me in the mail. I hope this helps in my endless battle against dehydrated and dull skin.
  • Sunday Riley Juno Hydroactive Cellular Facial Oil ($112): I know that this cold-pressed facial oil is completely overpriced but I cannot resist thinking about buying it, especially now that Sephora’s VIB sale is not altogether far away. It’s free of potentially irritating essential oils and is supposed to have the highest concentrations of the nutrients compared to conventional oils, and I desperately want to try it for myself. The soothing and radiance-boosting properties are something that intrigue me.
  • Marc Jacobs Beauty Under(Cover) Perfecting Coconut Face Primer ($55): Another item that I have my eye on for the Sephora VIB sale is this hydrating and makeup-extending primer. I’m interested because the ingredients seem beneficial, rather than gimmicky and just laden with silicone, and that it not only will aid in makeup wear but will also help up the hydration factor in my skin.
  • Nyx Lip Lingerie Liquid Lipstick in Ruffle Trim ($8.99): If you’ve been following my blog for a while – like, as in you’ve been reading since the time when I used to blog on a regular basis – you’d likely be aware that liquid lipsticks and drying matte formulas are not typically my thing. I have super-dry sensitive lips and these formulas are not low maintenance for me as a result. However, I’ve been enjoying them as of late and I’ve got my eye on this formula and one in this kind of neutral terracotta shade. I haven’t tried much NYX but now that it’s become available everywhere around me – in Canada – I’ve got my eye on this formula.
  • Indie Lee Rosehip Cleanser ($37.99): After hearing TophCam – who I adore watching on youtube for all things skincare – rave about Indie’s cleanser offerings, I find myself wanting to spend a little bit extra and go for this nourishing gel offering. I normally shy away from all things gel because I associate them with foaming and irritating and dehydrating the skin in the process. This one, however, boasts that its gentle and soothing, filled with antioxidants, rosehip oil and fatty acids.
What do you have your eye on?
Maggie, x.

 

 

A Note on Serums

With the change of the cooler weather, – well at least in the mornings and evenings anyway – I’ve suddenly been forced to get back into that whole skincare she-bang. Why? I was spoiled this summer, not having to put much effort into my skincare routine because my skin was much more hydrated and less irritated than the rest of the year without putting a single product. To be completely fair, the fact that I wasn’t trying new products might have been a contributor. Regardless, the moment that the weather started to cool down, I’ve gotten back into the swing of things. As soon as the weather changed, I’ve been reaching for these serum kinds of products to add beneficial ingredients and hydration to my dehydrated and irritated skin. As I’ve thought about them, I’ve realized how confusing they are to navigate as a skincare consumer and figured that I would write a chatty post about them.

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I would personally define a serum in a two-fold manner – first they are distinguished by their light fluid texture and second, they are designed to treat a specific skincare concern in a targeted way. While the basic products of your skincare routine are typically selected on the basis of your skin type, serums are a welcome addition to treat your specific concerns. It’s also said that serums are the products with the highest concentration of beneficial ingredients. I do agree to a certain extent that because they are leave on products formulated without thickeners and SPF that they can have higher concentrations of these ingredients – but this is definitely not always true. Thinking on my definition of serums, I’ve come to the conclusion that whether or not a product is sold as an exfoliant, serum, treatment or liquid is dependent on the marketing, not on the virtues of the product itself. Here’s a rundown of serum-like products that I like, beginning with those that are traditional serums:

Paula’s Choice CALM Redness Relief Repairing Serum ($34 US/ ounce) is a fabulously formulated basic serum that almost anyone would benefit from. It’s plumping, soothing and hydrating in a weightless manner, formulated in a lightweight gel base. It contains loads of hyaluronic acid – it’s the second ingredient – along with skin repairing ingredients like ceramides, beta-glucan and sea whip extracts. Also, it contains skin -repairing antioxidants.

Laneige Bright Renew Original Serum ($59/1.3 ounces) is a serum that specifically targets brightening of the skin and actually achieves the intended goal without irritating the skin with needless alcohol or breaking the bank. It contains a myriad of plant extracts with research showing to brighten skin tone and serve as anti-irritants but the real star of the show, is the high concentrations of squalene (an emollient ingredient with antioxidant qualities) and niacinamide (a proven cell-signalling, repairing and brightening ingredient) that it contains. This is a nice one if you’re concerned with an even complexion and hyper pigmentation. The only drawback is their inclusion of a hefty amount of fragrance in the formula.

While Paula’s Choice RESIST C15 Super Booster ($48 US/0.67 ounces) is not technically a serum but instead a concentrate that can be mixed with another serum or product to dilute it, or used on its own, I think it’s the kind of product that most of us are looking for in a serum. It treats even the first sign of aging – sun damage – along with dulness, uneven tone and irritation. I think this product is for almost anyone, especially because the 15% vitamin c product can be applied in the daytime to counteract free radical damage from the sun that causes irritation and signs of aging. The formula nicely contains a mix of antioxidants.

I wouldn’t necessarily call the Pixi by Petra Skintreats Overnight Glow Serum ($24 US/ounce) a serum, except for the marketing, serum-texture and inclusion of beneficial ingredients. With a nice dose of glycolic acid (its the third ingredient), this is a hydrating fluid textured chemical exfoliant. However, the inclusion of antioxidants like arginine and  skin soothers like cucumber extract and aloe, leaves this product as a winner of a multitasker. The Paula’s Choice RESIST Daily Smoothing Treatment ($33 US/ 1.7 ounces) is very much a product of the same vein, only differing in how its marketed – as a chemical exfoliant with treatment benefits. It’s a serum to the same degree as the aforementioned one. It’s a 5% glycolic acid and 0.5% salicylic acid product housed in a hydrating lotion base, enriched with ceramides, a myriad of antioxidants and skin calming ingredients. These are both nice options if you have your eye on a multittasker or do-it-all kind of product.

The Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Enriched Calming Toner ($21 US/6.4 ounces) is somewhat of a far stretch to classify as a toner, but it provides lots of the same benefits of a nice all-around serum. It treats dry and sensitive skin and has that liquid milky base that almost seems more liquid serum like than that of a toner, and it houses high concentrations of beneficial ingredients because they are not diluted by thickeners and emollients. It does not have the intensive treatment benefits of some serums, however, it serves the purpose of a nice all-around option. It has a nice dose of different antioxidant rich plant oils, hyaluronic acid and a myriad of other antioxidants and skin soothing ingredients. In my mind, this makes it serve the function of a soothing serum. Perhaps, though, it fits more into the hybrid category of essence…

Any serum thoughts or favourites to share?
Maggie, x.

 

The Summer Essentials

So this summer, I’ve been a mess. Aside from working, making plans with friends and taking copious naps, I haven’t managed to get anything done. For a while, I was dreading even having to wear makeup on account of the humidity and heat that we’re experiencing. However, I’m now back into it. I’m just hoping I can pull myself together enough to make posts happen again. I’m still going to pull together a favourites post at the end of the summer, summing up my favourite products for the months I’ve missed posting on, but I’m going to go through some seasonal essentials today:

(Can you tell I’ve had this post waiting in drafts for over a month? :))

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Essie Nail Lacquer in In The Cab-an: Particularly on my toes, I adore a bright blue polish in the summer and this one is perfect, leaning slightly more on the bluer side of turquoise with an easy cream formula. It’s opaque in two thin coats and is easy to work with, lasting a while – on my toes at least.

Skin79 Snail Nutrition SPF 50 BB Cream: In hot and humid weather, everyone – even those like myself who have skin that edges itself towards the truly dry and perpetually dehydrated end of the spectrum – dislikes the feeling of heavy product (or hardly any product at all) on the skin. We all can appreciate a multitasking product that does all three of its functions well – providing necessary sun protection, moisturizing and functioning as an everyday product – and this is it for me. Unless I’m being an idiot, I never burn when I’m wearing this. Impressively, it provides medium natural coverage that works whether or not I’ve gone for a full-face or not and stays put.

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation: In this truly humid weather of the summer that just passed, I was not in the mood for any sort of makeup experimentation. This left me looking for a foundation that looked like skin, had a bit of glow and left my skin looking far better than before on a fairly regular basis and this one was my pick. With its satin finish, medium-buildable coverage and longevity, it might just be worth its hefty cost.

Physician’s Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer: Despite being a lover of applying a bunch of cheek products on the daily, my lack of enthusiasm for makeup application left me looking for a one and done cheek product on a regular basis – and that product in question was this effortless and slightly glowy golden-hued bronzer. It’s smooth formula gave that effortless glow with the swipe of the brush and it added much needed life to my face in an instant.

Physician’s Formula Eye Booster Eyeliner & Serum: I suppose this was the summer that I really fell for some Physician’s Formula products. In the very beginning of Summer – or perhaps the tail end of Spring – I broke down and bought the eyeliner that everyone raves about and fell in love. It’s fine tip creates the smoothest lines and makes creating a flick a breeze in seconds. I love that its rich colour and smooth application doesn’t fade after opening for a few months. In my whole not wanting to put a load of makeup on fairly regularly, I’ve been relying on this liner to give me that instantly polished look.

OPI Nail Lacquer in No Doubt About It ($10-12): My infrequent posts in the last six months or so, aside, I have mentioned that I’ve become way more polish obsessed as of late. This summer, I fell for a neon pink – despite not being the kind of girl who is into pink in any shape or form. In my defense, it is a pink-coral kind of hybrid and it’s flattering on my warm undertones. It dries matte so it dries unbelievably fast which is nice, but my only complaint is that it does not cover completely on its own and layered over white, the polish only applies evenly with a perfect coat of white underneath. However, in three coats alone, it does cover 90% of the nail line and looks even.

Zoya Pixie Dust in Vega ($12): This teal tinged pale blue textured polish might not have the same quintessential ‘summer’ quality to it but its ease of use and cool kind of feel left me reaching for it more often than not. The mixture of matte and holographic glitters leave a cool effect on the nail but truly, what I adored the most was that it dried quickly – only requiring two easy coats – and was chip-resistant even without any top coat.

What did you love this summer?
Maggie, x.