August Skincare Empties

Contrary to what the lack of activity over the last six months or so might suggest, I am not dead. And I used up products:

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Tony Moly I’m Real Sheet Mask ($3-4/20g): I’ve gotten into that whole sheet mask shebang and out of all the ones I’ve tried, these ones are my favourite – and I’ve used loads of them, in different varieties. They don’t contain harsh or irritating alcohol and, instead, contain beneficial ingredients like glycerin, panthenol, allantoin and hyaluronic acid. Most of all, they aren’t obscenely priced for a single use mask. After use, my skin feels soothed, plumped and enriched with a dose of dewy hydration. My favourite has to be the Radiance variety. Definite repurchase.

Paula’s Choice Resist Advanced Replenishing Toner ($24 US/118 mL): Paula’s Choice toners weren’t one of the first products of hers that I tried, but they were among the most life-changing. I really liked this one, enriched with fatty acids along with her more typical antioxidant, hyaluronic acid and anti-irritant based formulas but I decided to repurchase the Skin Recovery  offering instead because I liked it about as much, with its milky texture and nice variety of anti-irritants, antioxidants and oils and you get more for less. In short, it’s great for fighting inflammation and repairing the barrier but it might not be as cost efficient as her other offerings.

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2% ($6.50/30 mL): This was my first foray into the brand and is a simple, AHA formula that isn’t irritating, is formulated at a functional pH and contains hyaluronic acid and a tasmanian pepper berry derivative to soften the blow of the acid. At first, I wasn’t in love with the gel formula because I didn’t notice anything different and didn’t find it as gentle as other formulas, but once I started layering my skincare again as I was dealing with dryness, I started to really enjoy how it resurfaced while drawing moisture to the skin. At first, I dealt with the tiniest tingle on my beyond sensitive skin but that did subside. I think I even repurchased this in the stronger formula a few days ago. Someone really needs to monitor my late night online shopping.

Hylamide Booster Sensitive Fix ($20/30 mL): As someone who suffers with random bouts of seemingly random sensitivity, I decided to try Hylamide’s offering for this sensitivity. I can tell you that I liked the product but with all the jargon in the claims, I’m not sure it completely performs in comparison. It contains sodium hyaluronate to soothe and hydrate the skin, along with  lactobacillus ferment extract that has research supporting its ability to help with barrier repair and fatty acids that have the same function. It also contains a few plant extracts with anti-inflammatory activity. It’s not that I don’t like the serum – I did, and would consider repurchasing -, its more that these extracts that the serum boasts have questionable abilities to completely fix skin sensitivity and I hate how convoluted the language is on the website. This was a nice serum to layer underneath a moisturizer or oil to help reduce inflammation and sensitivity.

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser: This cult classic is among the very best of affordable cleansers out there, fragrance-free and formulated without harsh cleansing agents. I have a couple of cleansers on the go so I won’t repurchase immediately but I definitely will. It’s excellent for sensitivity and dryness. Even though the ingredients are rinsed off, I think the hyaluronic acid, ceramides and fatty acids are a nice touch for barrier repair – but the real superstar ingredient is the lack of barrier disrupting ingredients in the formula.

Josie Maran Argan Oil: This was a sample sized product that I got out of one of those Sephora Favourites Kits that I adore but it was large enough that I deemed it worthy of mention. Seeing as I’m not a huge fan of essential oils in skincare for myself, I liked that this was purely an antioxidant rich plant oil, in an organic cold-pressed form. It wasn’t my absolute favourite and it wasn’t a sophisticated blend, but I enjoyed applying it to add a boost of hydration, do some soothing action and provide some extra nourishing. I don’t think I’d repurchase but it’s nice.

Any thoughts?
Maggie, x.

 

March 2015 Favourites

While for the consensus of others who make content detailing their favourite products of the month, the theme that they’re working with is the beginnings of spring, warmth and sunshine, my month was full of snow, more snow, ice, a storm or five and zero times when the temperatures rose above freezing. However, don’t despair now; in April, we’ve had a few promising days when it’s been a good five or six degrees and I’ve been convinced that the seasons are changing despite the presence of huge snowbanks everywhere you go around these parts. Anyway, my March consisted of more cold weather, a good amount of weather-and-personal-stupidity-induced skin irritation and subjecting myself to an unhealthy amount of stress, reading, essay writing and sleep-deprivation. Fortunately, I have not amassed a large quantity of items to share and declare my love to and I’m thinking this is a somewhat of a more interesting lot of products… don’t hold me to it, though.

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  • Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Buttercream ($20)

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Although I’m sure that my extremely irritable skin would have fared better with a fragrance-free moisturizer and with a product with more stable packaging, I was loving this soothing and nourishing margarita scented cream. Unlike just about every other scent with sugar in the name, it smelled more zesty than nauseatingly sweet and it moisturized without even stinging my eczema’d skin even though I was going through a flare up – thanks to my elevated stress levels and the problematic weather. I also adore how rich and concentrated the cream is and how it’s not just immediately absorbed into your skin, leaving the feeling and itchiness of dryness in its wake.

  • Paula’s Choice Resist Daily Smoothing Treatment ($30 US)

I didn’t receive my order from Paula’s Choice until the middle of the month, but given my love for the products – particularly this hydrating AHA-based exfoliant – I couldn’t hold back from including one. I love how this is formulated with a serum-like texture for added extra soothing action and moisture to my face and more than that, I love how it has effective AHA along with a small percentage of BHA to reap the benefits of gentle chemical exfoliation without irritating my skin further. Upon the first couple of uses, I could see the brightening and smoothing effects of the acids, even though they never leave my routine.

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  • Caudalie Vinosource Overnight Recovery Oil ($55)

Throughout March, my face was extra dehydrated, irritated and sensitive because of my lovely stress response in my skin, the erratic weather/heating, my stupidly frequent use of a brand new retinoid product and my daily use of sunscreen on my sensitive skin – using this nighttime labelled oil before moisturizer in the morning and the evening has worked wonders to soothe, hydrate and help smooth the texture of my skin. It’s like a breath of fresh air for my skin and adds a bit of glow, which was helpful particularly under makeup.

  • Essie Cashmere Matte Nail Lacquer in Comfy in Cashmere ($9.99-11.99) | review

Despite the deadlines and general lack of extra time that I had available in March, I relied on painting my nails frequently as a means of relieving stress and it was almost always this greige polish that has the most interesting blue iridescence despite being matte. I reviewed it before, but in short it dries so fast that it’s kind of amazing but it unfortunately could chip pretty fast so I wore it with top coat. This aside, this has become one of my favourite polishes ever!

  • Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge ($8.99)

The fact that I was dealing with dry, flaking and irritated skin in March had me reaching for anything that promised to help foundation apply more seamlessly and highlight the whole skin situation less and the damp sponge application method seemed to fit the bill. I’ve tried a couple of these sponges and I’m rather a fan of this one because it expands drastically, gets appropriately squishy and has nice edges to get into the nooks and crannies of the face. It also leaves the face looking glowy too.

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  • MAC Amplified Creme Lipstick in Blankety ($19)

As I’ve mentioned before, my mom and I have this tradition where she lets me pick out a MAC Lipstick for Valentine’s Day and this year it took a bit of time before I headed to the standalone store so I didn’t pick up this slightly deeper pink-beige hued nude offering until the very end of February. I’ve actually been going for slightly smokier eyes lately and this lipstick definitely fits the bill but it has enough colour to it that it flatters when I’m not wearing loads of makeup. Before, I had been afraid that this classic shade would pull to brown/mauve on my pale lips but rest assured, it’s so good that it’s joined the ranks of my favourites. The formula is ridiculously good, too.

  • MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Chilled On Ice ($25)

When I was picking up my lipstick, I was struck by the desire to pick up another shade in MAC’s lovely cream shadow formula, and justified it because of all of the cream shadows I had seemed to be straddling the line of unusable. Although I’m not usually any sort of a glitter fan, I wound up going for this kind of white gold frosty shade that has gold microglitter running throughout. I’m pleased to report that this shade is pigmented enough to look nice on its own and that the formula of this cream shadow might be the best (even out of the paint pots), as it doesn’t actually seem to crease on me – or if it does, it creases the minimal amount like the NARS Pro Prime does. I’ve been wearing it as a base or as a base and my lid shade consistently.

MAC Chilled On Ice | MAC Blankety
MAC Chilled On Ice | MAC Blankety
What were you loving throughout March?
Maggie, x.