Skincare Sunday | The Cold/Allergies/Sleep-Deprived Routine

As I write this post, I’m sitting beside my well-loved bottle of artificial tears and a heaping glass of water (with loads of ice) because I have a major case of allergies and I’m exhausted. From what I’ve gathered, many of us are sick, tired and suffering from allergies so I thought I’d share my pampering skincare routine for helping when we’re under the weather and our skin definitely shows it. I’ll remind you here that my skin is dry and dehydrated for the most part, with a tendency to get eczema whenever it gets upset or the weather changes.

IMG_9827

1. Gentle Cream Cleanser

I used the Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Softening Cream Cleanser ($18 US) to remove the residual skincare products from the night before and whatever grime was on my face. My skin was dehydrated with my allergies and change of season, as I think many people experience, so a gentle cream cleanser is essential.

2.Hydrating Toner or Essence

This is one of the occasions where I think incorporating one of these products makes the greatest difference. When your skin is dehydrated and a bit irritated, adding back those essential substances that make your skin glowy and hydrated immediately after cleansing helps. I used one of my favourites, the Paula’s Choice RESIST Advanced Replenishing Toner ($24 US), which definitely helped calm my skin, adding back essential fatty acids to restore the skin barrier along with some antioxidants.

3.Azelaic Acid

Depending on your skin care concerns and the state of your skin, this could be replaced with a more traditional chemical exfoliant; after all, the verdicts still out whether or not azelaic acid performs technically as a chemical exfoliant. Because I live in Canada where azelaic acid isn’t available over the counter, I actually used Finacea, a prescription only product. It’s anti-inflammatory activity keeps my skin the most calmed, clear, bright and radiant that my skin has ever been.

4. A Powerhouse Serum

This step will differ depending on your skin concerns, but you want it to be gentle and loaded with beneficial ingredients. I went with Laneige Bright Renew Original Serum ($59) because it has a gorgeous milky texture and soothes the skin while brightening, with niacinamide, squalene and liquorice root extract.

5.A Facial Oil

There’s something about the extra antioxidant boost from applying a plant oil that makes the skin look better. I’ve been reaching for The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Borage Seed Oil ($4.20).

6. An Eye Cream

I normally believe that eye creams and overpriced an unnecessary but when you’re suffering through a cold or allergies, you can typically use something a bit extra in the under the eye area, but it needs to be gentle. My pick was the Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado ($39).

7. A Good Moisturizer

This seems like such a blah heading but it’s all I could come up with. This will have sun protection in it, if you’re going the routine during the day (and got your life together before 5 pm unlike me) and will perhaps be a little richer in the evening. Because my skin is so thirsty, I slathered on the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask ($35) but I’m sure this would entirely be too heavy for someone who is not on the drier end of the spectrum. This step is going to depend heavily upon your skin type.

Any thoughts?
Maggie, x.

The Beauty-Related Christmas Additions

DSC_0071

I’m someone who really enjoys scrolling through posts detailing what others received for Christmas but I’m lacking the organization of pulling off a post of that magnitude without writing a small novel while I’m at it, so I’ve come up with a compromise here; I thought instead that I would give you a rundown of handful of gifts that I received of the beauty variety and share some preliminary thoughts and information while I’m at it. Also, I figured it would be helpful to share my most recent product acquisitions so you all would be able to let me know what you would be most interested in hearing about in coming weeks.

First off I thought I would begin with the couple of goodies given to me by my close friend Laura who has graced the pages of this blog before and her family – starting with the one and only makeup related item I opened – a Benefit Cosmetics Posiebalm and Posietint Duo. It’s no longer available online, but it came from a set that included a four-part set including a full-sized balm with a sample size of the matching cheek and lip stain – believe me I checked. I’m absolutely in love with the beyond comfortable warm-pink tinted balm and I enjoy the stain as well, but I was surprised to find out that the balm is far more warm-toned and corally than the stain. She and her family also got me the Essie Nail Lacquer in Wicked ($8-9), a blackened purple polish that is so up my alley that I haven’t been able to resist applying it to my nails – I’m sure some of you are well aware of my feelings for vampier polishes.

DSC_0080

I have to admit that the rest of the gifts, all of which came from my mother (and father too I suppose), weren’t quite as surprising because I sort of gave her a push, nudge or shove into the right direction but I’m equally as excited about these products. I’ve waxed poetic on my love for the Caudalie Vinosource range before so its only fitting that after falling in love with facial oils in the last year or so, I would want to try out their offering. The Caudalie Vinosource Overnight Recovery Oil ($55)  has greatly impressed me thus far despite its hefty price point for intensely hydrating and soothing my skin with a few drops. Its a blend of oils, primarily composed of grapeseed oil, jojoba seed oil, sesame seed oil, sunflower seed oil and rose flower oil and although I know that its not fabulous for the skin, I quite enjoy the rosewater scent that the product has. The other skincare product that I received was a toner and I was curious because its been ages since I used one – I cut them out of my routine as they contained alcohol and like irritants – and this one seemed promising, formulated with soothing ingredients rather than the usual alcohol. The toner in question comes from a brand that I’m quite familiar with and fond of, Kiehls, and its titled the Kiehl’s Cucumber Herbal Alcohol-Free Toner ($22.50). The main claims or interesting particulars about the product are its inclusion of promising ingredients such as Sodium PCA, Aloe, Chamomilia Flower extract and Cucumber and claim to soothe and hydrate the skin and so far, so good.

DSC_0086

Given my recent rekindling of my interest in all things hair, it should not be particularly shocking that I asked for a few hair products for Christmas and magically they appeared in my stocking – poof. Ever since I got my first cut at my local Deva-approved salon, I’ve heard great things about the DevaCurl No Poo Cleanser ($25) and have consequently wanted to try the gentle detergent and silicone-free cleanser and I’m pleased to have it in my collection. It’s rather nice and I enjoy the minty sensation along with how its not drying in the least and is the gentlest on my knot-prone hair. A good couple of years ago, I remember being interested in the Sally Hershberger line, after seeing her videos online and so when I spotted a few of her products about a month back, I mentioned my interest and voila. The product in question specifically is the Sally Hershberger Glam Waves Texture Spray ($12.99), a product that I’ve tried and have been pleased with as a hydrating oil-enriched and mineral-infused product to add texture and moisture to both wet hair in the styling stage and to refresh my wavy curls without weighing them down in the slightest.

Were you lucky enough to get any beauty-related Christmas presents?
Maggie, x.

Fall Skin Edit

20131017-211052.jpg

I am one of those poor unfortunate souls whose first unignorable sign that it is now fall/winter is in my skin. I notice this even before the chill – my skin becomes very dehydrated, itchy and sensitized. I am a firm believer that you have to switch up your treatment of your skin with the seasons and I thought I’d share a few products in my arsenal that I’ve been enjoying.

Boots No7 Beautiful Skin Cleansing Balm for Dry/Very Dry Skin

I will admit I’ve been sharing my love for this wallet-friendly cleanser a little too frequently but a moisturizing cleanser such as this one truly makes a difference in the cooler months. It removes makeup at least as well as Bioderma (with the aid of a cotton pad or face cloth) while soothing the skin and adding extra hydration. This is one of the rare cleansers that my skin has never reacted to by burning, tingling or some other unpleasantry. I know the fragrance is not good for my sensitive skin, but the scent is nice and the product feels very luxurious. Highly recommended!

Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer Daily Hydrator

As I do not have a Kiehl’s retailer near me I picked this up a few months back while travelling and I must say that I’m impressed … although I like the next product equally as much but for different qualities. The price point impressed me; I paid $42 CDN for 75 mLs which is rather good for a middle-end product as it contains well over the standard amount of product. Although we are all sensitive to different things, this would be a reccomendation of mine for those with sensitive skin as it doesn’t contain any typical irritants (fragrance or drying alcohol) and contains good quantities of glycerin and squaline. I’m not quite sure how potent they are but this moisturizer also contains small amounts of both Rosa-Gallica Flower Extract and Chamomile (supposed skin soothers), if anyone is interested. This moisturizer is soothing and concentrated, the smallest amount of this light-but-rich cream with a somewhat-sticky texture hydrates the skin and absorbs fairly quickly.

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet

This is a product that has been in my routine since May and it has pretty much become essential. I picked mine up at Sephora for 40 mLs of product at $40 CDN. Unfortunately this contains fragrance although in it’s defense, it does smell lovely. The texture of this moisturizer is what makes it remarkable. It has that whipped and light souffle-like texture that absorbs immediately and feels nice on the skin. This is a product I apply and feel the immediate calming and deeply moisturizing effects. Ingredient-wise, the second ingredient in this product after water is grape water, which is an antioxidant known to have a beneficial impact on the skin and contains small amounts of chamomile, grape-related extracts and a good quantity of shea butter. Because this moisturizer is so light, I think more combination skins could use it with success. I am nearly out of this product and plan on repurchasing either this product or the richer moisturizer in the same line.

Coconut Oil

I am neither one to preach on about oils being the best thing ever nor one to be opposed to them – I like them and enjoy their benefit but they’re not an essential in their pure form. No matter how irritated my skin is, applying coconut oil is not painful and I like to apply it after moisturizer on occasion and wake up with much more hydrated and radiant skin. It’s also an amazing body moisturizer and makeup remover.

These are a selection of products that I’ve been really appreciating in my transition to the cold season here in Canada but I have a few more products on my wishlist; I have been lusting after a moisture masque or serum. Thoughts?