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.

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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.

Weekly Medley #50/51

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Believe it or not, I have discovered something positive about my consistent tardiness in putting these kind of posts – wanna hear what that is? When I’m writing these weekly posts far after I’m supposed to, I don’t have to have deep inward contemplations over what tense to use while describing the week because it’s far gone. This is about as positive as I’ll ever get and you would be correct to detect my genuine sarcasm and generally misunderstood sense of humor. Well, for the first time in ages, I stayed home from class today, feeling like I was drowning in the ocean that is my cold-filled respiratory system, unable to move and like a large animal was pounding my skull. I’m pleased to report that things have made a turn for the better and I’m able to do something as productive as actually write a post, but actual coherency is out of the question so I’m returning to point form format.

1. The cold slash tired slash dying of winter skin essentials… These are a few of the products of the skincare variety that I’ve relied heavily upon in the last two weeks, not just because of the coughing-cold sense but because we’ve been having some serious dry, windy, snowy and generally freezing weather. I’m kind of ready to declare my love for the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Masque, the Caudalie Vinosource Overnight Recovery Oil and the Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Moisturizing Stick.
2. The standard other loves… I won’t bore you by prattling on about my love of caffeine – particularly lattes – yet again but it could not be neglected in my show of non-beauty loves. I’m also ridiculously thrilled to have the deliciously musky Bath & Body Works Flannel Candle in my life again, even though they only brought the mini sizes back with their big sale. I know what candle I’ll be buying in the larger size next fall – unless they are actually irrational and do not bring back the heavenly candle. These are what have got me through the frustratingly long weeks.
3. Some general blogging musings… While I have not been able to produce the five weekly posts that I have often unrealistically set as a goal for myself – although I certainly wish I could -, I have been pleased with the quality of the posts that I’ve put out lately. More specifically I’m pleased with some of my recent photography attempts especially when you put the winter sunlight issue into consideration.
4. The lipstick that I’ve dreamed about… It would not be out of the question to doubt my sanity after reading this but regardless, have at it: Ever since falling in love with the gorgeous rosy peach NARS Audacious Lipstick in Brigitte at my local Sephora but finding out that the shade was not in stock, I’ve been thinking longingly about it incessantly and I might have had a nightmare where I was chasing the lipstick and it remained out of reach. I have some pretty creative dreams but combining my beauty obsessiveness with the usual running out of time dream might have to take the cake.
I hope your January has been a tad more interesting and eventful than mine?
Maggie, x.

The Essential: Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask

DSC_1110 To sum it up rather concisely (especially when you take my wordiness into account), the hype is real everyone. The Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask ($29/100 mL) is worthy of all the buzz that you hear surrounding it but I fear that I must make one thing clear, first this has nothing to do with it being so natural and ‘good for your skin’ and ‘free of nasties’ because there may be loads of natural extracts in this, but there are a good number of potentially irritating natural extracts and fragrance but luckily my temperamental skin does not get angry in the least with this one. If you’re interested in what I mean by the potentially problematic ingredients here, I’ll direct you on over to Paula Begoun’s analysis over here.

The mask boasts being able to quench the skin’s thirst overnight to compensate for how our skin loses water constantly throughout our busy lives and is described as an “intensive moisture replacement mask with Avocado and Apricot Kernel Oil” that “deeply and instantly quenches comprised moisture reserves and builds a reservoir for tomorrow” and “Japanese Seaweed repairs skin barrier to prevent future dehydration and signs of premature aging”. While I have to scoff at the claim that is builds a reservoir of moisture and their clever use of the word ‘signs’, this mask does what it promises. It’s intensively hydrating on the skin and my skin drinks it up almost immediately after the thick textured cream that smells strongly of peaches is applied. Ingredient-wise, you’re paying for the heavy concentration of rose flower water and chamomile flower water that both act as soothing antioxidants and the high concentrations of oils in the glycerin base; it’s worth it for me. Not only does it hydrate the skin instantly, I find this to be fantastic at soothing the skin and repairing/replenishing the dry irritated patches of skin that seem to persist throughout the colder weather. When my skin is looking a little dull and feeling more than a bit dehydrated, I slap on this one after removing my makeup and cleansing my skin and so without much effort -viola- my skin looks much better when I wake up in the morning.

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My skin type is naturally sensitive and easily-irritated, with general dehydration as well as texture issues and while I can get dry patches a plenty and do always suffer with dryness, I would classify myself as someone with a normal t-zone and dry skin everywhere else. I would easily recommend this overnight mask to anyone in the drier spectrum but I also think it would be suitable on more truly combination skins as its so effective with hydrating the skin and does not feel particularly heavy or greasy.

 

Have you given this a go?
Maggie, x.