The Repurchases

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When you’re as beauty-obsessed as I am, indecisive to a fault to boot and easily bored, it’s rare that a product is impressive enough to warrant a repurchase so it speaks volumes when one is repurchased. In fact, when a repurchase occurs it must be nothing short of fantastic and I’ve gathered a few repurchases to share as of late. I’m not going to lie, this is totally inspired by Kate’s posts that I enjoy tremendously. Let’s get to it….

Bioderma Sensibio H2O($22)

I’ve raved about my love of the cult-favourite micellar water more than a time or two before but it is easily my most repurchased beauty product. Just like everyone and their second cousin twice removed suggests, it removes makeup like a champ gently, especially on the eye area when held to the lid for some seconds, but effectively and it’s the only thing that doesn’t ever go wonky in my dry sensitive eyes. It’s the gentlest thing out there.

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP ($29.99)

This nourishing but lightweight body cream is definitely a more recent repurchase for me but it is an impressive one all the same. It’s formulated without fragrance, colour and the usual irritants and not only helps to intensely hydrate the skin and heal any sort of abrasions and skin condition, but also helps to decrease itchiness of my leg eczema over time. This is a great one for eczema in my experience for it is no frills where it counts but has a nice dose of niacinimide to help repair the barrier of the skin with the usual glycerin and shea butter.

Caudalie Vinosource Riche Intense Moisture Rescue Cream ($40)

Although I feel that including this moisturizer love of mine in a post here to be cheating, I couldn’t write this post without including it. If you’ve been around these parts for ages, you can probably recall how I loved the Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet back in 2013 and so after I finished up the REN moisturizer that I had been using, I couldn’t resist turning back to my old faithful line but I decided to purchase the slightly more nourishing option considering the season. I’m pleased to report that this offering is still lightweight and even more nourishing and soothing than the lighter option. It has that instant ‘breath of fresh air’ effect on the skin that makes me feel like it’s a treatment at the same time.

Maybelline The Falsies Volume Express Mascara ($8-9)

This was easily the most-hyped up mascara in the beauty world a few years ago and I tried it on account of that hype but to this day I haven’t found any mascara that surpasses this affordable one. It adds great volume with a little bit of length and curl thrown in but doesn’t go clumpy on the lashes and give that spider effect – even when the formula is at its wetter stage when it has recently been opened. It also doesn’t flake, smudge or anything but is not actually a nuisance to remove as many others seem to. This is at least my third tube of this mascara and I’ve felt horribly bereft without it, despite having way too many mascara bottles in my possession at the moment.

Have you repurchased anything as of late?
Maggie, x.

Two MAC Acquisitions

 

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DSC_1124There are three things (remotely beauty-related things) that moved Monday into great day territory. First, I actually got up off my ass and successfully de-potted some MAC eyeshadows and blushes and I didn’t burn my house down or anything along those lines. The next thing was that I was able to Back-2-Mac with the now-empty casings, looking around with a few of my favourite people alive – who enjoy MAC and don’t judge to boot – for a lipstick free of charge. Last but not least, I experienced the satisfaction of completing my first fifteen-pan MAC palette (or at least the shadow side of my duo palette); I am aware of how pathetic my life sounds, if you were pondering the subject. The point of this ramble? I’m rather pleased with the eyeshadow and lipstick that I picked up, even aside from the fact that I was only set back $13.80 — with tax included.

I had gone into MAC with the idea that I was going to pick up the wearable but deep Brick-o-la shade but it was actually sold out and I quickly got over it, picking up the MAC Kinda Sexy Matte Lipstick ($19) and instantly falling in love with the “neutral pinky-rose” hue when I swiped it onto my sore lips. I would describe it as one of those neutral flattering shades — on me it’s a my-lips-but-better shade that is quite opaque and peachy – that adds a little bit of colour to the lips without looking like ‘lipstick’. The matte formula isn’t particularly drying or unflattering on sore lips and actually seems to stain my lips somewhat and the shade seems to have the perfect mix of peach and brown – not muting my lips out but not having that unflattering ‘brown’ look either on my pale lips. I’m in love. 

In my recent wishlist post, I had mentioned my desire to complete my palette with MAC Smut Eyeshadow ($12/18) and that’s exactly what I did. Exactly as I thought, the “muted black with red shimmer” is a nicely textured shade with a satin finish (I don’t know what they’re talking about on the shimmer front) that serves the same purpose as black but is more interesting and easy to work with. It might not seem like the creamiest shadow in history but it’s blendable and has almost no fallout despite its dark shade. I’m loving this shade just as much to add depth and definition to the outer corner or general smokiness and I’m wearing this one in the outer-corner below, with All That Glitters on the lid, Soft Brown as a transition colour and Swiss Chocolate in the crease. The dark charcoal burgundy plum shade is a nice option for darkening things up, if you ask me.

 

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What are your favourite MAC products?
Maggie, x.

Evening Skincare Routine

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Like loads of others, I’m sure, my evening skincare routine is a wee bit more intensive than my morning one and although I would describe myself as someone who is dedicated to their routine, although it tends to vary night to night throughoutthe week in terms of treatments – I’ll get onto this later.Because my eyes are so sensitive and dry, I always begin with two cotton pads soaked in the cult-favourite Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micellar Solution ($22) and hold them over my eyes for up to a minute to thoroughly remove mascara and other stubborn makeup although I’m sure others could get away using the cleansers to remove eye makeup as they are so gentle.

Not just because of the recent widespread belief in double-cleansing at nighttime, I’ve been dedicated to washing my face twice at night because I have the kind of skin that makeup clings to like nothing else in this world; I’m fortunate that I’m someone whose foundation stays on the skin for an amazing amount of time but this characteristic has made intensive but supremely-gentle cleansing essential to the whole skincare shebang. For the first cleanse, I alternate between the Garnier Clean + Nourishing Cleansing Oil ($9-12) and the Boots No7 Beautiful Skin Hot Cloth Cleanser ($12) as both textures of products nourish the skin while cleansing gently and removing makeup with ease. I might be tempted to say that the cleansing oil has slightly stronger makeup removing power as it can remove makeup completely and to be honest, I can be satisfied with a single thorough wash with this one (on a rare occasion when I’m feeling spectacularly lazy) but it is the messier option of the two and contains mineral oil – I know mineral oil is problematic to some but it isn’t for my fragile skin type. I make sure to always use a washcloth with the first cleanse to ensure that the makeup has been truly removed.

I have the kind of skin that holds onto foundation and the like in the same manner as glue I reckon and therefore even before all of that double cleansing hoopla took over, I was faithful to cleansing the face twice; unless I’m not wearing makeup (or sunscreen – naughty), I cleanse my skin the second-time with the basic fragrance-free non-foaming lightweight thin gel-cream Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser ($11-12). This cleanser actually does remove makeup as well but I prefer to go in with a more nourishing oil-based cleanser beforehand and strikes me as the superior version of Cetaphil. 

Five (or six on occasion) times per week, I go for a product of the gentle chemical exfoliant variety. I’m still faithful to my long-time trio of gentle exfoliants of this variety – the BHA-based Clinique Mild Clarifying Solution ($16) and the slightly more concentrated Neutrogena 3-in-1 Hydrating Acne Treatment ($10-12) as well as my much-loved AHA-based Indeed Laboratories Pepta-Bright Cream-Serum ($40) – but I’ve also recently brought the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads ($14/37) as my supply of the cream-serum is dwindling. Although it isn’t strictly a chemical exfoliant but rather a gentle alcohol-free retinoid and antibiotic gel that rapidly increases the cell-turnover, I figured I would include the expensive prescription-only topical called Bianca ($90) that I’ve added back into to my routine 2-3x a week at this stage. I will warn you, however, that these retinoid products are one of the very few products that cause purging in the skin initially before the improvement begins.

If I haven’t already applied a serum-textured product in the above stage (the Neutrogena, Indeed Labs or Bianca), I’ve been applying the lightweight La Roche-Posay Rosaliac AR Intense ($35) serum before moisturizing with the soothing Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer Stress-Minimizing Daily Hydrator ($45) that am a huge fan of. A few times a week, when I’m not going for a chemical exfoliant or I’m opting for one of the serum-textured-variety, I go for the soothing and brightening Organic Rosehip Oil, applying it on top of everything in the case of the first scenario and applying it over the chemical exfoliant in the second, skipping the moisturizer altogether.

When I’m not entirely too lazy to remember, I slather my poor chapped lips with the lovely multipurpose La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 ($16). 

This might seem rather exhaustive or unlike a routine at all but I promise that it is a constant routine that I follow and takes less than five minutes and it’s entirely worthwhile, for my skin at least.

Have you tried any of these products? What does your nighttime routine look like?

Maggie, x.

P.S. There will most likely be a weekly treatments post up in the near future…

 

I Used Up Products #2

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Considering that I’m actually someone who enjoys these posts and their counterparts in video form, it might seem odd that I rarely put these kinds of posts up but in all honesty, I take forever to use up actual makeup despite frequent use – with the exception of mascara – and generally tend to run out of the same things quickly: conditioner, hair product, Bioderma and mascara, so I don’t always feel that these are the most interesting things to discuss. Nevertheless, I figure that I would give these a fair (hopefully concise) review.

Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micellar Water ($22 CDN):

I’ve mentioned before the severity of my eye sensitivity and dryness but I have to mention it again in light of why I absolutely adore this product. Despite being the only product that has never burned or stung my eyes in the makeup removal process, it actually does remove makeup effectively and is the lazy girl’s dream with the ease that it removes makeup. It’s pretty much like makeup wipes in a bottle for those who like me have skin that is very reactive to makeup wipes and cannot use them. Bioderma is a simple product but a great one at that, being able to remove makeup effectively without any irritation involved. However, I’ve found cleansers that remove makeup as well on the face that I prefer, so unless I’m being lazy I only use the water to remove eye makeup.

Maybelline One By One Volum’ Express Mascara ($9-10):

I’m not typically one to exhibit diverse reactions to mascaras here but I promise that I’m not that indifferent to each mascara that I try and that the fact that I like this one (but don’t absolutely adore it) speaks to its merit. I’m quite a fan of the synthetic brush that is shaped somewhat like a football as it provides loads of definition and separation with its volume and the mascara in general, I suppose. However, it’s one of those mascaras that do enhance the lashes in an impressive way but manage to look relatively natural even on the bottom lashes. This mascara is a nice option for lighter days that removes easily and doesn’t look too full on.

L’Oreal Power Moisture Moisture Infusion Mask ($5-7 CDN):

Considering that I included this hair product in one of my first monthly favourites in the summer of 2013, it is sort of shocking that it’s a product that I feel rather indifferent towards but I think that when I enjoyed it my hair was in a good state and benefited from this basic conditioner parading as a mask that doesn’t do anything negative for your hair but doesn’t really do anything either. I think I liked it at first because of its light texture and that it did not weigh down the hair and while that is still true, it didn’t provide any sort of true nourishment and was not concentrated in the least. The quest for an affordable conditioner that I like continues…

DevaCurl One Condition ($26 CDN):

While I would rank this conditioner more highly than the former, it was not right for my fine-textured tangly wavy-curly hair as it did not provide that rich nourishment and detangling power. It has a really nice herbal-y scent and doesn’t weigh down hair in the slightest while moisturizing but it’s not enough for me. Ingredient-wise, it’s particularly great on the no-silicone front and I can see those requiring less hydration and whatnot loving this. However, I have gotten good results with this as a product for conditioner-washing but this is a rather pricy option for something with that purpose…

DevaCurl B’Leave-In ($26 CDN):

If you are too a member of the curlier-hair camp, you surely have firsthand experience of the whole my-hair-has-a-mind-of-its-own phenomenon and unless everything in your hair routine is in order, the worst hair day might still just happen. I loved this protein-based curl-enhancer and volumizer when my routine was all sorted last summer and I was consistently pretty pleased with the whole haircare routine, finding it to add that life towards the roots and in the less-curly sections of my head in a way that nothing else could but when things started to spiral out of control hair-wise, I cast this aside, believing it not to do anything and slowly used it up. However, I’m convinced that this is one of those products that can really boost your hair but only can provide results if the rest of your routine is in order as it doesn’t provide hold. I used this up a few months back but now I’m really considering repurchasing it and giving it another go…

Have you tried any of these?

Maggie, x.

 

A Day in the Life: Lazy-But-Productive Sunday

the workstation
the workstation feat. comfy attire – aside: Lululemon leggings are heavenly

I don’t know about you, but I’m addicted to reading beauty blogs (pretty much a given considering that I write one) and my greatest addictions are ones that incorporate their lives into the mix as well, without completely veering off from beauty-related territory – Suzie’s Hello October, Amelia’s Liana Beauty and Alix’s I Covet Thee, to name a few.

I feel compelled to warn you that I have an extremely boring life and rather rarely do anything interesting so lower your expectations before reading further. For years, as I’m such a procrastinator, Sundays have been that day when I have to be productive but endeavour to do so in the laziest way possible. My general life philosophy is rather lazy and you might have already guessed that I write the majority of my blog posts on my bed and take a good number of my pictures without having to move. You caught me.

On the agenda today is the usual readings and assignments that I should have already done, thinking about cleaning the catastrophic state of the room and blog post writing and/or planning and doing something to fix the state of my nails – It’s screwing with my mind writing  a blog post about blog post writing.

the authentic "no-makeup face"
the authentic “no-makeup face”

Skin; while mine is nowhere even close to the realm of flawless, I have been receiving compliments on mine in real life and can easily say it’s the best I’ve had since I turned thirteen and I’ve been planning on doing a full-on skincare update for some time now but I never seem to get around to it. I thought I’d share what products I’ve been grabbing in the morning religiously.

I’ve been cleansing with the gentle but annoying to use on account of it’s lid, Bioderma Hydrabio Cleansing Milk ($25 CDN) in the mornings (although I use it on occasion at night as it removes makeup well) and I like it. It never makes my sensitive, easily-irritated skin angry looking afterwards and for that it might deserve a gold star. Unless my skin is particularly sore (which thankfully it is not at the moment) I use the most gentle chemical exfoliant, the Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion ($16 CDN) that (along with my nightime chemical exfoliants, Peptabright and the Neutrogena one) I attribute the increased brightness and radiance in my skin to, as well as the radical reduction in the pesky chin  breakout bumps and the clogged pore situation on the forehead. It works without irritating the skin whatsoever so my naturally-flushed skin is less flushed than it has been in ages believe it or not. The skincare trio was completed by slathering on a good layer of the soothing but not heavy Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer ($42 CDN). Sometimes I add an oil for good measure, but this is how it’s been in the mornings and I’m happy with the results my routine has given me.  Following with the laziness theme, I can’t be bothered to apply makeup – and this is a sign of skin improvement.

winter is not my friend when lighting is concerned
winter is not my friend when lighting is concerned

Now I fear I must conquer the frightening sight that is my neglected nails and move onto the more difficult stuff. x

most frightening application of Essie Sand Tropez and my latest love in tub form
most frightening application of Essie Sand Tropez and my latest love in tub form

Maggie

What did you do today?

 

 

 

Top Thirteen of 2013

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I’ve only been blogging since the end of May this year but I can remember my product loves before then so I thought I’d share an edited selection of my absolute essential products of 2013. It’s been agonizing to do so but these products were staples this year that I’d recommend to all!

Boots Beautiful Skin Cleansing Balm for Dry/Very Dry Skin ($10 CDN)

I’ve used this every night since I purchased it in the summer but I’m still on my first bottle of this divine creamy cleanser. It’s beyond gentle, actually hydrating the skin rather than stripping it, soothing and with the aid of a washcloth, removes face makeup. It contains fragrance but does smell luxurious, especially considering the price – an absolute bargain in my book!

Caudalie Vinosource Quenching Sorbet-Creme ($39 CDN)

The 40 mL tube of goodness lasted for five months with daily use and I used it throughout the entire summer and into the fall. I haven’t repurchased yet, but I plan on repurchasing in the near future. It contains Caudalie’s signature antioxidants and is free of drying alcohols (but does contain fragrance) and is a fast-absorbing, weightless but very hydrating product that feels cooling and soothing on the skin. This has made me intrigued to try more Caudalie – to be continued…

Bioderma Sensibio H20 ($22 CDN)

There are only two beauty products that I go through quickly: conditioner and Bioderma. I wear a good amount of eye makeup on a daily basis and use this micellar water every night to remove it. I have uber-sensitive eyes and this is the only product that neither irritates my eyes or clouds my vision and removes my makeup. It feels as gentle as water on the skin but removes makeup well with minimal effort and makes it easier to wear heavier eye makeup on a daily basis.

L’Oreal Professionnel Intense Repair Masque ($30 CDN)

This is easily the best conditioner/masque that I’ve ever tried and I’ve tried many, including others in the line and nothing else compares. In terms of silicones, amodimethicone is high on the ingredient list and I suppose could prevent the ingredients for working their best but at the very least it does not build up and weigh down my hair. The scent is an interesting fake banana scent and the product is coloured to match. The product itself is a thick texture and is intensely hydrating and really helps to detangle hair without weighing it down. I have fine wavy-curly hair but lots of it that tends to split easily and after using this from the start of the year until late fall when it ran out, I can say that it prevented the dry ends from forming that contribute to such breakage. The product is super-concentrated and easily worth the money as many cheaper options tend to run out more quickly and work less effectively.

Pureology SuperSmooth Sulfate-Free Shampoo ($29 CDN)

Sulfates are a nightmare for my hair, both drying it out and causing eczema on my scalp and this is easily my favourite sulfate-free shampoo I’ve tried, however it is very expensive. Luckily I managed to pick up the litre size of this on sale for about $50 CDN very early in the year and I’m still on the same bottle. This is easily the gentlest effective shampoo that I’ve ever tried and is definitely the most concentrated. I always find I go through hair product quickly but this one truly is the most concentrated. The ingredients are really great, the only silicones are water-soluble and do not build up on the hair and it contains high concentrations of nourishing oils like sesame oil and shea butter. This shampoo is one of the rare shampoos that manages to cleanse the hair without stripping it. The smell is to-die for, a luxurious slightly spicy and woodsy scent – easily the best smelling hair product I’ve ever tried.

Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation in Ivory ($10 CDN)

I started using this foundation shortly before starting my blog and it was one of the products that got me into drugstore makeup – before the blog, I was a diehard MAC girl with a hint of Sephora thrown in there. This foundation I wore pretty much all summer long and never stopped using it afterwards. For me, this foundation is one that I can always wear and feel confident about putting on my skin without thinking about it. I can’t see the shimmer in it and find it slightly glowy with great longevity. It has that medium coverage that can be worn when your skin isn’t looking too great but doesn’t look heavy on the skin. The colour is one of the best matches for me as it’s fair with yellow undertones and sits nicely on my dehydrated skin. It’s weightless on the skin without including harsh irritating alcohol.

MAC Powder Blush in Harmony ($25 CDN)

Although it’s called a blush, this is definitely a contour powder. It’s somewhat cool-toned without being grey and somehow manages to add warmth to the face while providing some shape. I picked this up very early in the year and haven’t looked back as it’s remained a staple throughout the entire year. It’s a matte  medium toned mauve-y brown that is difficult to describe and works for me year round regardless of the season.

Maybelline The Falsies Mascara ($10)

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, it will be no secret to you that this is my all-time favourite mascara and I discovered at the beginning of this year and repurchased it recently. It’s nice and volumizing, can be built up and doesn’t clump and the wand deposits the perfect amount of product. I should mention that naturally I have long, curled and wimply lashes and I enjoy volumizing drier mascaras as wetter formulas tend to look less natural and more spider-y on me.

Urban Decay Naked Palette ($62 CDN)

I agonized over whether to include this palette, as for the first few months of my blog I talked about how I didn’t love this palette as an all-inclusive palette for a variety of looks but then I slowly fell in love with it but prior to starting my blog, I wore these shadows on a daily basis – I wore Sin on my lids, Naked in the crease and Hustle in the outer-v- which is still a combination I adore. It has those flattering warm tones and contains a variety of shades of different depths and is easily my most used eyeshadow item of the year. If you enjoy shimmery warm-toned eyeshadows, this is the palette for you.

MAC Charcoal Brown Eyeshadow ($12/18 CDN)

This might seem like a really boring shade to include but it’s proven its value as a staple to me year round. It’s a medium toned slightly-cool toned brown with a matte finish. This was the product that got me into filling in my brows and it’s a fabulous shade for brunettes but it also adds great definition to the crease that cannot be duplicated with a shimmery shade and is the perfect balance of warm and cool for me.

MAC Lipstick in Patisserie ($18 CDN)

I swore I was only going to include products that I wore the entire year but although I’ve only been using this since October, it became my go-to shade and easily my favourite lip product discovery of the year. It’s a lustre so it doesn’t highlight dry patches and is somewhat moisturizing. It’s a darker nude that isn’t all that different in colour than my pale lips — a warm nude with some pink in it that doesn’t wash me out in the least but rather adds some life to my face and looks good with any makeup.

Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Rose ($30 CDN)

2013 was the year that I fell in love with the bold lip. Sure I wore red lips to prom but prior to this year that was the extent of my exposure to the red lip or even the bold lip in general. However the particular lipstick was a difficult to decide on as bold lipsticks aren’t something you typically reach for on a daily basis. After lamenting for a couple of days, I decided that I couldn’t put a particular one in but bold lips was perhaps my makeup discovery of the year overall. Easily my most used lip product of the year was this multi-tasking product. I like it as a creme blush as well but the iconic Bobbi Brown product is something I’ve reached for constantly all year for a warm rosy hue on my lips that doesn’t pull brown whatsoever. It’s sort of hydrating but not remarkably so and has the easiest on-the-go application and is that slightly darker but sought-after my lips but better shade on me that wears nicely for a few hours.

MAC Stereo Rose Mineralize Skinfinish ($34 CDN) – limited edition 😦

insert picture of me wearing it on December 13th w/o bold lip

Being the blush hoarder and obsessor – is that even a word? If it’s not I’m making it one…. – that I am, I knew I had to put one in my yearly favourites, however it was incredibly difficult to choose my favourite one that I wore the most throughout the year as I tend to go through blush phases. I know it’s rather evil of me to include a limited edition product but I discovered the hyped but worth the hype product this year and loved it throughout the year even though I didn’t necessarily mention it as much as it deserved. I bought it at the very start of the year when the Apres Chic collection came out. I was not intending on buying it but when I tried it on, the finely-milled glowy rosy coral wowed me. It’s a blush that is the most gorgeous when not too much else is going on with your makeup.

Seeing as I included a product that is rather difficult to get your hands on and I know how annoying it can be when someone rambles on about an amazing product that you can’t get, I’ll include my runner up – Nars Orgasm Powder Blush, a less-corally pinky-coral with gold shimmer running throughout that brightens the face while working with whatever makeup you’re wearing.

What were your favourite products of the year?

Skincare – My Routine and Thoughts

Me without makeup. If anyone was curious the breakouts on my forehead were Cetaphil-induced. My skin looks a wee bit better than this most of the time now!
Me without makeup. If anyone was curious the breakouts on my forehead were Cetaphil-induced. My skin looks a wee bit better than this most of the time now!

I was going to wait to do this video until my skin improved and my routine was flawless – like every product would have to be holy grail status – but realistically I’m never going to be using an absolutely flawless routine, nor will I ever have perfect skin (or anything close to it) and I’m the happiest with my skin that I’ve ever been (and I’ve tried a bunch of different things for my skin) so I figured I’d share. I’ve found since using these products that my overall skin clarity increased and my skin appears brightened and most of all it has become notably less irritated.

My skin tends to be rather complicated; it’s rather acne-prone (I always have a few spots on my face), extremely sensitive, and is prone to very dry patches. Although my skin is dry and dehydrated (particularly on my cheeks and sometimes on my forehead and normal to dry on my chin, nose and around my hairline), I tend to clogged pores – those little bumps that sometimes will resolve by turning into painful pimples or otherwise will just stay there. Also if I don’t use the gentlest of products, my cheeks and nose get quite red and my face becomes tight, extremely flaky, burny and itchy. My pale skin also tends to look rather dull and is prone to flaking when dehydrated. Because my rather problematic skin doesn’t simply fall into one of the traditional skin types and faces a multitude of problematic conditions, I think these thoughts, routine and products that I use could benefit people of different skin types.

In my opinion, there are five basic categories of skincare that we should have in our routines but the routines themselves will vastly differ because of our individual skin needs will be different and in my opinion, the best routine will be centered around how your skin actually is rather than how you wish it would be. These five categories are as follows: cleansing, moisturizing, exfoliating, sun-protecting and treating.

Morning routine
Morning Routine
Morning Routine

1. I cleanse my face with Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Cleanser, which is an affordable gentle cleanser with a lotion consistency that does not strip the skin whatsoever but also does not remove makeup well at all. I rinse this off with cool water with my hands to be as gentle as possible. I talk about it in more depth here –

2. I gently exfoliate with Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion, which is an extremely gentle exfoliating toner with BHA (salicylic acid) – meaning that it can exfoliate your skin (even inside the pore) without being abrasive like a scrub would and is also more effective because the product is left on the skin. [Note: I am not usually a huge fan of Clinique products (I tried the 3 step skincare system and it was an absolute disaster) but I adore this product.] It is one of the rare exfoliating toners that is effective without costing an insane quantity of money or containing irritants such as alcohol and the like. It’s somewhere between $10-15 in the States, I believe, and in Canada it costs $16 for 200 mLs.

3. The moisturizer I use in the morning is Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet, which is a lightweight moisturizer marketed at sensitive skin. I think this is an excellent moisturizer — it is one of the rare ones with a good texture that does not make my skin burn or turn red, I find it quite soothing actually — and the ingredients are not too bad. There are no drying alcohols (hallelujah) but still are some antioxidants in a squeezy tube that does not render the ingredients useless. My only irritation with this product is why in the world would they put fragrance in a moisturizer for sensitive skin – arghhhh. All in all it is a quite nice moisturizer for sensitive skin. It costs $39 CDN I believe for 40 mLs.

4. As we’ve all heard a million times, sun-protection is really important so I use Avene High Protection Cream. I have discovered that I tend to be sensitive to chemical sunscreens (they make my skin burn, turn red and develop unsightly bump-pimple things that take forever to go and turn into hardened bumps) so I did some research and decided to try this purely physical sunscreen. It offers really great protection for my fair skin (broad spectrum spf 50) and it is water resistant, although it leaves a rather unattractive whitish pink cast. It does not irritate mt skin in the least and retails in the 20-30 dollars CDN range for 50 mLs.

Morning Routine
Night Routine

Night Routine

1. I begin by removing my makeup on both my eyes and my face with Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micelle Solution and cotton pads. I talk about it more here –

2. I wash my face again with Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser. I think that it is very important to cleanse twice (gently!) at night because there is nothing worse than remaining makeup on your skin in terms of causing acne and the like.

3. Then I move on to my treatment. I use  Stievamycin Gel every one or two days, depending on my skins current state (sensitivity and severity of blemishes). The amount I use is dependent on how my skin is at the moment. The Stievamycin Gel, a is only available if you have a prescription from your doctor and in my experience is very effective, particularly on stubborn blemishes but is very sensitizing. The product contains 0.025% tretinoin (which is a topical retinoid/ vitamin a derivative that exfoliates the outer-surface of the skin to reduce the formation of blemishes) and 4% erythromycin gel (which is an antibiotic that kills the bacteria that cause acne). My only irritation with this product is that it is formulated with an alcohol-gel base and my skin does not tolerate alcohol well, however this product is so effective that I keep on using it!

5. I like to wait at least ten minutes before applying my moisturizer, as to avoid diluting the effect of the active ingredients in the treatments I use. I’ve been using Bee By the Sea Sea Buckthorn and Honey Nourishing Face Cream,  which is a very gentle and hydrating cream that takes a while to absorb into the skin. I do not necessarily think that you must use a night cream at night and a day cream during the day – I just am using this because I have it and it helps compensate for the sensitizing treatments I put my skin through. It is very soothing, all of its fragrance coming from the sweet almond oil and rich in coconut and olive oil. It is a no-frills moisturizer filled with ingredients that work to hydrate  skin. It costs $30 CDN at health stores and beabythesea.ca. This is a godsend for irritated skin!

I’m thinking about continuing with a skincare series as I think it is so important. X

Any thoughts?