February/March Favourites

So, erm, I’m alive. I don’t know whats wrong with me. I’m the worst. And I do promise that my 2016 favourites will make an appearance before June – not that I’d necessarily trust my promises at this point. Because I have this strange urge to release monthly favourites deep within my soul, I thought I might catch up by posting my February and March edit.

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Benefit Rockateur Box’o’Powder: After neglecting this seriously glowy blush for quite possibly an entire year, I’ve been consistently reaching for this beyond sheeny rose gold offering. It’s fast and easy, and leaves a highlighted rosy glow to my fair cheeks with one product. On medium and deeper skins, it would appear as a blush topper or highlighter but those of us on the fairer side can use it as a combination product. It’s great for making you appear alive and perking up the complexion.

L’Oreal Brow Stylist Definer in Brunette: I have a tumultuous relationship with brow pencils. In my experience, they tend to be oddly coloured, leave an unnatural kind of definition in the brows and are anything but cost-efficient. This offering I do like, however, as it has a nice slim tip and effective brush that creates natural ashy looking brows with minimal effort. I can see people going through this pencil quickly if they go to town with filling in their brows, but that’s not the case for me.

Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Hydrating Treatment Mask: Throughout the winter, I’ve been loving this rich and almost impossibly soothing leave-on facial mask, even though I’m a skeptic of the difference between overnight moisturizing masks. I will note that I do enjoy that often these masks are extra rich and hydrating and that they often come in larger sizes and are less expensive than their moisturizer counterparts but, regardless, they are a rich moisturizer. It has a buttery texture but I’ve never experienced clogging issues from it and it’s one that stays with you even in the morning. It leaves my skin extra plumped and soothed with its hefty dose of emollients and oil-derived antioxidants. When my skin is upset in the dry and dehydrated sense, this is the closest thing to a cure. Its ability to decrease inflammation is noted. Plus, it’s an epic eye cream.

Aveeno Intense Relief Hand Cream: As someone who suffers from eczema, I must say that its awfully strange that my hands don’t tend to be an issue. However, from the dragging on winter my cuticles and my hands were suffering and I’ve been reaching for this hand cream as a result. Side note: it’s excellent for all around dry patches. The formula isn’t sophisticated but the petrolatum really sticks to your hands throughout the day and I’m sure the oat extract is soothing. Plus the natural scent of the extracts is soothing.

Sassy Girl Aroma Sleepytime Souffle Cup: Ever since I started venturing into the vendor wax world at the very beginning of the year, I’ve been enjoying myself tremendously and finding interesting scents that I’ve enjoyed melting. However, there have not been any blends that I’ve tried that have paralleled this seemingly simple offering. It’s a lavender, chamomile and spearmint blend that has something extra special and instantly soothes me. There’s something creamy about the chamomile that adds something extra relaxing to the lavender and peppermint which I adore. I will note that I also melted a chunk of Rosegirls Lavender Peppermint which I really did enjoy, just not to the same degree. I must acquire more…

Any thoughts or favourites to share?
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.