The Acquisitions | Another Paula’s Choice Order

I believe that I’ve already mentioned that I recently started a new job and since I received my first couple of paychecks and all, I’ve bought more than a few things – and four of those things were from a Paula’s Choice order that I made, so today I’m going to type on about it. It does indeed include a few of those products that I’ve been continuously featuring in my wishlist posts, which does excite me to no end.

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Paula’s Choice Resist C15 Super Booster ($48 US/ 0.67 ounces)

With my first foray into Paula’s Choice back in March, I received a lovely trial size of this potent vitamin C serum and I fell in love with it because of the almost instant smoothing and brightening results. I was heartbroken when I found myself without this a month or so back to such a degree that I was motivated to place this order when the company was offering a nice promotion – simply for the sake of this product. With its potent dose of vitamin c, this lightweight serum works as an antioxidant, fighting against all forms of environmental damage – including sun damage (alongside your SPF) – and helps to add serious radiance to dull skin, smooth the texture, help to diminish uneven skin tone and increase overall clarity. I tend to use it on its own every second night but it can be mixed into another product, and I’ve been incorporating it into my daytime routine for optimal effectiveness.

Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Lotion SPF 30 ($28 US/ 2 ounces)

My skin does not tolerate chemical sunscreen well in the least but I tend to find mineral formulas heavy and drying, so I tried this hydrating moisturizing sunscreen formula as a sample with my last order and was pleasantly surprised – it manages to provide adequate mineral protection without that bothersome texture, significant white cast while actually providing tons of hydration and soothing action to the skin. I definitely am very impressed with this antioxidant rich formula.

Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Toner ($20/ 6.4 ounces)

Since watching the Paula’s Choice videos and learning more about their products and general skincare philosophy in the past couple of months, I’ve wanted to try one of their milky toners, as they supposedly added weightless hydration – which I’m always looking for – along with some calming action. Let me tell you, I’ve been converted – I adore how light but nourishing this toner is and I love how it gives a healthy dose of antioxidants along with nourishing oils with a featherlight texture. I imagine these would be ideal for more combination skins too because they add hydration without that heavy feel…

Paula’s Choice Resist Weightless 2% BHA Body Treatment ($25/ 7 ounces)

It has been mentioned before that since my early teenage years, I’ve struggled with body acne and while I’ve definitely managed to reduce the severity of the breakouts, it remains a concern. I’ve also mentioned before that I’m prone to eczema and find it difficult to tolerate potent treatments because they are irritating and/or drying. However, after having such success with using BHAs to prevent and treat my milder acne on my face without irritation, I was tempted to try out this antioxidant-rich BHA body lotion. I’ll keep you posted on my results but at least so far I haven’t experienced any irritation. This is also supposed to be great for treating KP and general dry skin.

As for samples, I chose the PC Skin Recovery Hydrating Treatment Mask, the PC Pure Radiance Skin Brightening Treatment and the PC Skin Recovery Cleanser, so if you’re curious I could provide my thoughts on these.

Have you tried Paula’s Choice?
Maggie, x.

 

The July Wishlist

Seeing as I don’t feel exhausted or anything of that sort today, I have the day to relax and that I’ve missed my regular blogging schedule as of late, I knew as soon as I woke up this morning that I wanted to write a blog post. However, I have so many different ideas for blog posts that choosing the first one on the list proved difficult but I did eventually figure that a wishlist would be most appropriate – it is a new month after all and after starting a new job and working a good amount, I actually might have some business buying at the very least some of these things…

Desktop2Wilfred Minou Printed Silk Camisole ($50 | Aritzia)

I’m still fixated on simplifying and generally sorting out my wardrobe and a nice semi snazzy camisole like this one that can be dressed up or down and does not show a ridiculous amount of boob has caught my eye and made it to the to-buy list. I saw this one in the store and it’s gorgeous and not ridiculously overpriced and I’ve got my eye on it now.

Ruth Crilly Colab Sheer Invisible Dry Shampoo in Monaco ($?)

I’ve always really wanted to get into the whole dry-shampoo shebang, but I’ve found that  they either don’t seem to do anything at all – least of all, add some texture and lift to my often drab roots – or that they leave this ridiculous white residue. I’ve been a long time follower of Ruth Crilly and I’m tempted to believe that her line does what it says so now that it has landed in Canada at an affordable price, I’m ready to try it out. I’m the most tempted to try out this unisex-leaning aquatic scent offering.

PF Candle Co. no 4 Teakwood & Tobacco Soy Candle ($24)

I might have managed to go a month without including a Bath & Body Works scented candle in my wishlist post but don’t think that I’m doing one without discussing a scented candle that I’ve got my sights set on. I’ve always wanted to try the kind of expensive more sophisticated masculine-leaning candle scent but I only knew that it was available online and I didn’t exactly want to pay shipping and all that but now that Urban Outfitters has opened and is stocking the gorgeous scent I’m not going to be able to resist for much longer.

Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette ($64)

I don’t necessarily think that the shades in the new Urban Decay Naked Palette are so unique that they warrant a purchase if you have one or two other rendition of the neutral palette series – especially if you own the UD Smoked Palette as I do. However, there is something about the collection of a dozen shadows featuring smokier tones, nice matte colours for the crease and practicality along with shimmery everyday paler lid colours for the less daring of us that makes me lust after it.

Paula’s Choice Resist C15 Super Booster ($48 US)

Both this concentrated antioxidant treatment and the next Paula’s Choice product has been featured a good number of times on my wishlist posts without actually being purchased but now that I’ve finished my sample of this product and am running low on all my products in the next product’s category, I’m ready to bite the bullet and make the purchase. I definitely saw a difference in the brightness and overall texture of my skin from adding a few drops of this pungent liquid to my everyday routine and I’m missing it in my life.

Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Lotion SPF 30 ($26 US)

When I tried Paula’s Choice’s impressively hydrating and soothing mineral sunscreen, I was blown away because it managed to succeed in texture and formula as a moisturizer for my demanding skin while protecting it from the sun without irritation. Now that I’m almost out of every moisturizer in my possession, I’m ready to go all out for this relatively affordable one.

L’Oreal True Match Lumi Powder Glow Illuminator in N202 ($20)

I do completely acknowledge that twenty dollars is an awful lot for a drugstore highlighter that can’t be returned if it doesn’t fit my liking, but there’s something so appealing about this newly released mosaic one. I’m a fan of all things illuminating and more than that, I’ve been impressed with L’Oreal’s smooth non-powdery powder formulas in the last year that I have an inkling that this one will be right up my alley.

What’s on your current wishlist?
Maggie, x.

May Favourites

Having my twenty first birthday and two year blogging anniversary pass in the last few days, I was anticipating on writing a far more monumental and less mundane post but alas, I’m just sticking to my guns and keeping on schedule with sharing my favourites. There’s not much of a theme unless you count the emergence of summery weather influencing these choices…

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Guerlain Terracotta Joli Teint Natural Healthy Glow Powder Duo in 01 Clair – Brunettes ($60)

I’ve fallen in love with the subtle glow and warmth enhancing bronzer for it’s effortless and seamless skin-like perfecting finish. This limited edition product is quite light for a bronzer but has loads of warmth that reads natural on the skin and adds glow without having an ounce of sheen or shimmer. I also love the pop of peach to be used as a blush without reaching for an additional product.

L’Oreal La Palette Nude 2 ($29.99)

At the beginning of the month I bit the bullet and paid the rather hefty (for the drugstore) price for this rosy-plum hued neutral palette and lucky for me, the investment has been worthwhile – and I’ve been rather pleased with the quality of the shadows. Over half of the palette is matte and surprisingly that is where the shadows shine the most – they are blendable, pigmented and smooth in ways that more affordable shadows rarely are. I’ve particularly loved the dusty lilac matte shade, the rosy bronze deep shimmery shade, the pinky champagne shimmer shade and the warm chocolate matte shade.

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Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade in Medium Brown ($23)

After finally taking the plunge and actually purchasing the hyped gel-textured product back in April, I’ve discovered the trick to using this uber-pigmented brow product and I’ve been loving the effect since discovering said secret. I find that even though it can be more time consuming, using the tiniest amount of product and pressure and gradually building up the colour delivers a natural-looking brow that is filled in and stays in place.

Lush Ultrabland Cleanser ($16.95 – $29.95)

Early in May, I unfortunately found myself in the LUSH checkout with the smaller size of this beauty, the first authentic cleansing balm that I’ve ever tried. This thick balm emulsifies slightly but feels heavy so its not for everyone, or really anyone that is concerned with products feeling greasy – but I love how it removes makeup whilst leaving the skin soothed and hydrated and does not irritate my beyond sensitive eyes.

Paula’s Choice RESIST Daily Smoothing Treatment ($30) | review

This hydrating lotion based chemical exfoliant has been an enjoyable step in my daily skincare routine since March and I’ve loved it for months so I’ve included it in favourites posts before but now I’ve fallen in love with it so much that I have to include it again. My sensitive skin doesn’t even feel a tingle from the 8 percent of glycolic acid or the 0.5 salicylic acid and instead feels soothed after being applied. I adore this lightweight product because its multitasking, providing that gentle chemical exfoliation along with nourishing soothing action with its antioxidants and other beneficial ingredients.

Soap & Glory Flake Away Body Polish ($18) | review

With the warmer weather that came in May, the need to actually shave my legs on a semi frequent basis followed and I reached for this soothing and hydrating scrub to smooth out the skin on my legs that are always suffering from some sort of eczema breakout, reduce the flaky appearance and prime my legs for the most comfortable shave. The warm scent and residue are absolutely delightful as is the fact that it actually seems to agree with my skin.

Calvin Klein One Summer Eau de Toilette ($65)

I’ve been happily spritzing on my new perfume daily since gifting it to myself for completing yet another exam period. This scent is marketed as unisex and I definitely agree with that, as it does not read as overly masculine but it doesn’t have any overly perfume-y or sweet feminine notes either. Being someone who shies away from overly girlie scents, I adore this gin and tonic based scent. This year’s variation smells like the beverage in a fresh and not reeking-of-booze kind of way and has a nice citrus hint to it along with a bit of muskiness. I love how fresh it smells, along with its hint of zestiness.

What were your May favourites?
Maggie, x.

The Review | Paula’s Choice Resist Daily Smoothing Treatment 5% AHA

I was planning on putting up this post at the end of last week (er, on the weekend) but I was strangely busy and wasn’t exactly feeling all to great – hence the rationale for this post being postponed until today. Regardless, today I am reviewing a product that has perhaps impressed me the most in such a brief amount of time and my first real purchase from the brand, the Paula’s Choice Daily Smoothing Treatment 5% AHA ($30). I’ve been using the lotion texture daily chemical exfoliant every morning for a good eight weeks and even though I’ve consistently had AHAs and BHAs in my routine for ages, I was able to see a visible improvement in my skin – in terms of the texture, overall brightness and clarity of my complexion.

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INGREDIENTS: Water, Glycolic Acid (AHA exfoliant), Cetyl Alcohol (thickener), Butylene Glycol (slip agent and penetration enhancer), Palmitoyl Oligopeptide (cell-communicating ingredient), Ceramide 2 (skin-identical ingredient), Tetrahydrodiferuloylmethane, Tetrahydrodemethoxydiferuloylmethane, Tetrahydrobisdemethoxydiferuoylmethane (anti-irritants/antioxidants derived from curcumin), Epigallocatechin Gallate, Caffeic Acid (antioxidants), Salicylic Acid (BHA exfoliant/anti-irritant), Disodium Lauriminodipropionate Tocopheryl Phosphates (vitamin E-based antioxidant), PEG-10 Rapeseed Sterol (fatty acid thickener), Cucumis Melo (Melon) Fruit Extract (antioxidant), Bisabolol, Allantoin (anti-irritants), Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Dimethiconol (silicone slip agents/texture enhancers), Tribehenin (texture enhancer), Polysorbate 20 (emulsifier), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, PPG-14 Butyl Ether, PEG-40 Stearate, Sorbitan Stearate (thickeners), PVM/MA Decadiene Crosspolymer, Polyacrylamide (film-forming agents), Disodium EDTA (stabilizer), C13-14 Isoparaffin (solvent), Laureth-7 (emulsifier), Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster), Caprylyl Glycol (preservative), Ethylhexylglycerin (skin-conditioning agent), Hexylene Glycol (solvent), Phenoxyethanol (preservative).

I figured I would get started with the product claims; it’s a daily chemical exfoliant containing 5% glycolic acid along with the 0.5% boost of pore-penetrating salicylic acid, in essence. The technically anti-aging exfoliating treatment “reveals youthfully radiant skin and counteracts sun damage – without redness or irritation” and renews skin texture, evens skin tone, smooths fine lines and stimulates healthy collagen production, all through exfoliation and the inclusion of a potent blend of antioxidants. Paula’s Choice markets this product as a silky treatment doubling as a lightweight moisturizer and here, like with the rest of the claims the brand (thankfully) does not make any ridiculous statements that research does not support, use known irritants and does not use marketing bullshit – in other words, the product does what it says, which I quite enjoy.

The glycolic treatment has an impressive formulation laden with active ingredients in solid concentrations, a good 5% of glycolic acid that is suitable for daily use – even in combination with other potent ingredients – and enough BHA to provide pore-penetrating and anti-inflammatory action, whilst still remaining easy for the skin to tolerate. The Daily Smoothing Treatment strikes me as the ideal balance of efficacy and gentleness, even for skin as temperamental and moody as mine; it also serves as both a daily exfoliant and a soothing serum with that thin absorbent texture with that slip to it, ideal for multitasking product for my dehydrated skin as it full of antioxidants and anti-irritants to boosts the skins response to the acid.

I adore that it serves as an AHA, yet still has that effective shot of BHA in the formula, so it sacrifices neither but does not aggravate the skin either – at least this is my experience on my drier skin that suffers from congestion, sensitivity and a general lack of radiance/clarity. In a nutshell, the Daily Smoothing Treatment is an excellent gentler daily exfoliant with both glycolic and a wee bit of salicylic acid that serves a myriad of purposes and provides a myriad of benefits (i.e. anti-aging along with the generally more even, bright, clear and more luminous skin). As I seem to with most potent acidic products, I did experience a slight tinge at first but this one was not unpleasant and stopped happening after a week or two – and I’m prone to this kind of adjustment period FYI. Priced at $30 US for 50 mLs or 1.7 ounces, the Daily Smoothing Treatment belongs to the brand’s pricier Resist range with more intensive formulas focused on reversing or lessening the skin’s signs of aging but it is worth the price increase in my opinion, even if you’re not concerned primarily with the aging process (as I’m not) because of the multitude of benefits it provides and its ability to serve as a product that multitasks. If you’re looking for a daily AHA product that isn’t too intensive and would enjoy a hydrating texture, I would wholeheartedly recommend trying this offering!

 Have you tried anything from Paula’s Choice?
Maggie, x.

 

April 2015 Favourites

As a university student, April seems to come and go in the strangest fashion – it’s just a weird time, the first half (or more as was the case this year) full of the doom known as the exam period where the most menial tasks such as bathing become a hassle and makeup application can be somewhat laughable before leading to this weird sense of freedom when it’s all over but you can’t exactly process it. It’s also the time when Spring is beginning to rear its head, despite the snow still hanging out.  To get to the point, I might not have experimented with beauty or makeup all that often this month, however, I can report on some essential items for me.

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NARS Audacious Lipstick in Brigitte ($37): Whenever I did that whole full-faced makeup thing and went for something on the lips, I happily grabbed for the slightly coral-tinged rose hued lipstick that I succumbed to at the end of March. The formula is ridiculously good and does all it claims – the formula hydrates the lips, lasts and actually stains the lips in the best way possible without any sort of drying effect or weird fading and just look good on the lips without requiring any fuss. I find pink colours extremely difficult to wear, however, I have to say that I adore this more neutral-pink offering, likely because of its slight tinge of coral and warmth that I adore, and it’s a bit more of a unique rosy neutral shade. This is a really great staple shade in my daily life because it works with anything, offering enough life to the face when worn with minimal other makeup but subtle enough to work with smokier eyes.

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MAC Eyeshadow in Bronze, Bamboo & Swiss Chocolate ($12-19): After popping the inserts out of my MAC palette in order to justify buying more eye shadows, – and picking up Bamboo and Bronze – I’ve really gotten back to relying on my MAC palette on the daily basis and these are the three shades that I’ve been reaching for. I’ve been constantly using my new Bamboo eyeshadow as a transition colour that blends into absolute nothingness in the best way possible, – (it’s lighter than Soft Brown) – Bronze, a true red-toned reflective bronze eyeshadow in the outer corner and along the lower lashline to add easy definition and the warm red-toned Swiss Chocolate to add some matte dimension to the crease or outer corner.

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Skin79 Snail Nutrition BB Cream ($35): In my journey, searching for a way to get adequate sun protection on a daily basis without irritating my skin, making my makeup look questionable and drying out my skin, I’ve gone back to using my favourite authentic Asian BB Cream and I’ve been pleased with it. It has ridiculous sun protection, hydrates the skin nicely while adding medium-coverage with a more generous amount, only contains mineral actives and has loads of beneficial ingredients, such as the potent niacinimide along with other hydrating ingredients. On some occasions, I’ve been reaching for this as my sole base but on other days I’ve been using it pre-foundation as sun protection. I’m still of the belief that this is one of those few authentic multitasking products that function excellent both in terms of a skincare product and in terms of makeup application.

Paula’s Choice Resist C15 Super Booster ($20-48 US): Ever since I received my Paula’s Choice order, I have been incorporating my trial size of this potent vitamin c antioxidant product into my daily skincare routine – or at the very least every two days – but it was in April when I began to really reap the benefits and discover how much that I liked the stuff. While it seemed to tingle slightly the first couple of times that I applied it, the 15 % antioxidant treatment stopped triggering that response within a couple of uses – my bet is that my skin was a bit irritated from retinoid use and weather conditions, along with a little bit of being temperamental. Now I apply this antioxidant booster at least every second night in the serum stage and my skin drinks it up, immediately looking smoother along with just looking a bit brighter, even and less angry in the six weeks that I’ve been using it. I’ve been using it alternate nights with my prescription retinoid and I would have to say that it’s gentle and actually seems to help soothe the skin rather than leaning towards any sort of aggravation.

Elizabeth & James Nirvana Black Rollerball ($26): When I’ve been feeling like making myself feeling a little (or a whole lot more) put together, I’ve been applying this warm and spicy vanilla scent. It’s uber warm but doesn’t have even the faintest touch of a sugary candy sweetness and is more of a winter scent to be completely honest. It reads a bit androgynous and lasts for ages on the skin without being overwhelming in the slightest.

Bath & Body Works 3-Wick Candle in Renew & Refresh ($22.50): It’s times like this month that I burn candles the most excessively; I find myself turning towards scented candles the most when I’m stressed out of my mind but some productivity needs to happen so obviously April was a candle heavy month. I loved burning this mellow but warm springtime scent – it was never overwhelming but potent enough, reading as fresh and calming with a hint of jasmine. For once, the candle appears to be named appropriately if you’re asking me.

What did you love during April?
Maggie, x.

 

The April Wishlist

So I’m free from my most stressful and generally possible exam season yet and I kind of cannot believe that I’m actually done (for now). I’m kind of going through that phase where I feel numb and as if there’s some gargantuan paper to write or exam to study for that does not exist so I thought I would get back into the swing of things with blog posts – which I’m very excited for by the way – with a wishlist post. However, this is yet another wishlist post that breaks the rules because I’ve made it just a few days after receiving my Sephora order that included an item that I had been lusting after for ages that I couldn’t resist including despite the fact that they are now in my possession…

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1.   Guerlain Terracotta Joli Teint Natural Healthy Glow Powder Duo in 01 Clair – Brunettes ($60): Despite being a pale girl, I’m majorly devoted to bronzer so upon realizing that I don’t actually own a million and I didn’t really have any higher end ones, I decided to treat myself to a luxurious one during the Sephora VIB sale – and this one was my pick. Although some might not be impressed because it’s not wholly matte and not the most pigmented thing in the world, I love the skin-glowing and brightening properties that the powder has and how buildable but sheer the colour is. The pop of peach-coral is a nice touch and I would have to say that its a product that has that almost undetectable effect that makes your skin simply look better a la an Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder.

2. L’Oreal La Palette Nude in Rose ($30?): I drooled over L’Oreal’s larger palette offering as soon as I spotted it featuring on British beauty blogs last year so as soon as I heard that it was coming to Canada, I’ve had my eye out for it. I’ve heard great things about the quality, the colour palette is a little bit more interesting than one might expect and I’m intrigued about the mattes, so much so that I’m not deterred by the hiiiiiigh price tag… I couldn’t find any usable stock images, so I borrowed this one from creepersandcupcakes.blogspot.com.

3. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Poured in Moonstone ($46): I’ve had my eye on one of Becca’s expensive but ever-hyped-about highlighting products, in the lighter gold based hue and this cream formula seems right up my street, with its extra glow and general ease of use. It actually came very close to making its way to me with my Sephora order but I resisted at the last minute. I’ve still got my eyes ready and waiting.

4. Soap & Glory The Daily Smooth Body Butter ($18): There’s something about the formula of Soap & Glory’s moisturizer that suits my irritated and dry skin, soothing it and almost leaving a greasy residue that ensures that it actually lasts on my skin – and they do get their scents right – so obviously I need to try the formula for even drier skin. Riiiight?

5. Paula’s Choice Resist Hyaluronic Acid Booster ($46 US): Since slowly edging my way into the Paula’s Choice product line, it’s safe to say that I’ve fallen in love and their newest product has really caught my eye. It’s a soothing, plumping (I don’t care about this considering that I’m still 20) and hydrating gel product to use in the treatment or serum stage, either on its own or mixed into a moisturizer, serum, etc. It really appeals to me because I struggle consistently with a little bit of irritation, dehydration and textural issues and it actually looks promising as a soothing product to add into the mix. They do have a $16 dollar smaller sized offering which seems a bit easier to stomach in terms of price.

6. Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Daily Moisturizing Lotion ($26 US): I have definitely included this mineral-sunscreen-based moisturizer in a good few wishlist posts before but now that I’ve used up both of my sample packs and have come to the realization that this is the best sunscreen product that I’ve ever tried, I’ve decided that I must have it and must share my thoughts. The white cast lasts for maybe two seconds, it has a nice lightweight soothing texture but most of all, it doesn’t leave my skin looking or feeling dry throughout the day – and leave makeup sitting in an unflattering way – as most mineral sunscreens do, or irritate my skin to the nth degree as chemical sunscreens do. I do tend to apply  light oil or moisturizer underneath, concentrating on my dry cheeks as the changing weather is giving me whiplash.

What’s on your wishlist?
Maggie, x.

Weekly Medley #58

The last week (or so) has been a rather unproductive one, especially after I naively proclaimed that I was going to be uber-productive and focused, enjoying the week and a bit that I had without continous deadlines. There have been numerous storms — it’s nowhere near spring-like here in anything except the increased hours of sunlight and the appearance of sun in general — and I even had a few snow days off school but I’ve spent time thinking and stressing about all the essays that I have to write rather than making acceptable headway on them. I have six left. I’m just about ready to vomit, cry or pass out. This has just been one of those periods of time when I seem incapable of getting anything done and find myself grunting and growling at inanimate objects, along with the usual engaging in delusions.

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Although I’ve certainly not had the time or even the energy to really go shopping as of late, I’ve picked up a couple of things. After the top coat travesty happened, (when I realized that the only top coats I owned were either questionable in general or had gone too gloopy) I picked out a replacement topcoat, the CND Vinylux Weekly Top Coat and while I was at it, I threw in the Quo by Orly Strong Bond Rubberized Base Coat for good measure – even though I’ve been enjoying the Formula X offering. I’m certainly enjoying the duo together – they are holding polish up on my nails and the top coat has added that kind of gel look and didn’t take long to dry. The second purchase that I’ve made was of Bath & Body Works candles. I’ve documented the discovery of my love for their candles on my blog since last summer and I’ve found myself obsessed with burning them during stressful times – so I’m pretty into the candle burning process at the moment and picked up three because of their $3/25 Single Wick Sale that they had on, although I certainly was not all that low on candles. I picked up three spring scents perhaps subconsciously in hope of bringing the change in weather, BBW Brazillian Blue Waters Medium Candle (which smells like the actual ocean with a light floral bit kicked in), BBW Amazon Falls Medium Candle (which smells very fresh and very greeny with a hint of that ocean smell and maybe a touch of floral) and the BBW Sparkling Limeade Mason Jar Candle (which smells possibly the most interesting of the bunch, as a mixture of greens and herbs along with the promised lime, but with a bitter rather than sweet edge and maybe a hint of gin?). I also note that they have a nice sale on the 3-Wick Candles that’s actually better than the 2/35 promotion than they put on in Canada and they do have all of their spring scents I believe…

This week I’ve both been enjoying the Paula’s Choice products (and samples) that I received in my order along with a recent rediscovery in the stash. First off, I’ve been loving the Paula’s Choice Resist 5% AHA Daily Smoothing Treatment – it’s gentle, moisturizing, soothing but definitely has that instant effectiveness that acids are known for providing along with a few samples. The most notable samples have to be the Skin Recovery SPF 30 Lotion, the Resist Moisture Renewal Oil Booster and the Skin Perfecting BHA Lotion. The rediscovery was the cheap and cheerful Rimmel Natural Bronzer in 021 Sun Light that I have pretty much forgotten about the existence of in the last year, likely because of the other more interesting offerings that I’ve had with far better packaging. I’ve enjoyed going for this paler bronzer because it’s lighter in tone with some nice warmth, applies smoothly to the skin with a semi-matte finish and seems to add some natural depth to my skin even in its pale state. The formula is impressive and I would do well to remember that.

Although for the large part I’ve been pretty dissatisfied with my productivity, I was pleased that I kept up with three posts per week and I intend to stick to this kind of timeline. I also think I’m going to survive so there’s that…

How was your week?

Maggie, x.

My First Paula’s Choice Order

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Since the very beginning of my blog, I’ve been aware of and relying on the information put out by the Paula’s Choice team in order to select worthy products and much of the information learned there contributed to dealing with my dry uber-sensitive skin that was in a crisis of sorts, so I’m in awe of them for that. Ever since, I’ve been intrigued by their product lines as well as their unbiased information and no bullshit approach but it wasn’t until about two weeks ago that I took the plunge and actually ordered from them after deliberating for so long. I believe it was over the holiday break that I discovered Paula’s Choice’s youtube channel and their amazing Live Chats and I’ve been obsessed with these chats ever since – they somehow manage to be entertaining, absurdly informative and relaxing at once. It was my enjoyment of the show for months that finally pushed me over the edge to make an order – along with the fact that I actually was running out of stuff and their prices are affordable with all things considered. And I also picked up a gift that I’m not going to show for my mother!

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  1. Paula’s Choice Resist Daily Smoothing Treatment 5% AHA ($30 $25.50/50 mL):

“Paula’s Choice Resist Daily Smoothing Treatment with 5% Alpha Hydroxy Acid is a must-have exfoliant for those who want their skin to look and act younger. It features 5% glycolic acid with a 0.50% boost of pore-penetrating salicylic acid. This anti-aging exfoliant reveals youthfully radiant skin and counteracts sun damage—without redness or irritation! The innovative daily-use formula continually renews your skin’s texture, evens skin tone, smooths fine lines, and stimulates healthy collagen production via exfoliation and by delivering a potent blend of antioxidants that help fight free-radical damage. Fragrance- and colorant-free, this silky treatment doubles as a lightweight moisturizer and is recommended as an integral part of the Paula’s Choice Resist line This AHA exfoliant has a pH range of 3.5-3.9”.

Preliminary thoughts: The very reason that I bit the bullet and placed this order was this product – I had actually run out of my current AHA exfoliant (the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads) and Brian of the PC team had convinced me of the merits of this moisturizing and more gentle daily option, formulated with a slightly lower percent of glycolic acid and 0.5% salicylic acid. I’ve used this product four or five times and I’m more than impressed and I have to say that it’s been one of the most initially impressive products that I’ve ever tried. I’m ridiculously excited about this one and it may or may not be included in a post at the end of the month – or maybe early next month, judging by how things have been as of late.

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     2. Paula’s Choice Resist C15 Super Booster ($20 $9/0.12 ounces trial size)  [$48/ 0.67 ounces]:

“Resist C15 Super Booster is a concentrated, light-as-water liquid treatment product designed to supercharge your Paula’s Choice serum, or it may be used alone. A blend of 15% stabilized vitamin C (l-ascorbic acid) at a pH of 3.0, antioxidant vitamin E, ferulic acid, and peptides repairs visible signs of aging and stimulates collagen production for smoother, brighter, and firmer skin. Vitamin C also helps protect skin from environmental damage as it evens your skin tone. You’ll see dramatically younger, healthier, and more radiant skin in weeks!”

Preliminary thoughts: I’m afraid that I haven’t used this concentrated Vitamin C treatment much but the time that I did use it, I was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t seem sensitizing despite the potency and that because its unscented, it doesn’t actually smell like sausages as I’ve heard. It has a nice serum-y texture and its supposed to do wonders with dealing the red marks left behind by blemishes that are a major concern of mine.

The Samples

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(i) Paula’s Choice Resist Moisture Renewal Oil Booster ($7/ trial size – FREE w/Promo) [$35/0.67 ounces]: “This unique blend of nine gentle, non-fragrant, antioxidant-packed plant oils brings soothing, moisture-rich relief to dull, dry skin. See a youthful glow return as essential fatty acids repair skin’s barrier to restore softness and elasticity while calming irritated skin. The non-greasy and elegantly-light texture absorbs quickly for all-day comfort and lasting smoothness” – IT’S BEAUTIFUL.

(ii) Paula’s Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment ($10/trial size – FREE w/Promo) [$55/1 ounce]: “Combined with potent antioxidants, Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment is specially formulated to smooth and firm skin by helping to boost cell regeneration and stimulate collagen production. Its light, silky texture absorbs quickly and goes to work immediately to refine pore size, reduce deep wrinkles, fine lines, brown spots—it can even help breakouts, too! Licorice, oat extract and other anti-irritants help to minimize the irritation some people may get from products containing high amounts of retinol. You’ll be amazed at how much younger and radiant your skin will look and feel”

(iii) Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel (free sample or $0.80) [$26/3.3 ounces]: “Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant has a sheer, weightless texture that works to exfoliate the skin’s surface and fade signs of sun damage. The ultra-light formula corrects uneven skin tone for a brighter, smoother, more radiant complexion. Substantiated research shows that AHAs improve collagen production for firmer skin and increase skin’s moisture-binding ability. 8% AHA Gel works to sustain the results of professional peels and wears beautifully under a moisturizer or serum”

(iv) Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Lotion (free sample or $0.80) [$26/ 3.3 ounces]: “Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Lotion Exfoliant moisturizes as it exfoliates both the skin’s surface and inside the pore, reshaping the pore lining, unclogging pores and improving skin cell turnover rate. This creates a dramatic improvement in the skin’s appearance, feel, and function, leading to healthier skin. There is a great deal of research indicating that BHA (beta hydroxy acid) increases collagen production and drastically smooths the surface of skin. Additionally, BHA has antibacterial properties that attack blemish-causing bacteria. The lush texture of the 2% BHA Lotion makes skin feel satiny soft, while potent anti-irritants help calm a reddened, blotchy complexion”.

(v) Paula’s Choice Resist Barrier Repair Moisturizer ($ 1/ sample) [$29/1.7 ounces]: “Resist Barrier Repair Moisturizer contains a unique complex of ingredients proven to remodel your skin by building and preserving collagen, firming skin and protecting against moisture loss. The feather-light, silky texture provides substantial hydration. The active ingredients in the Resist Barrier Repair Moisturizer are proven to make a visible difference in the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, skin tone, and skin firmness”.

(vi) Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Daily Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 ($0.80 / sample) [$26/ 2 ounces]: “Skin Recovery Daily Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 goes above and beyond most moisturizers with sunscreen. It replenishes dry, sensitive skin and ensures a healthy barrier function while protecting from daily sun damage (the cause of wrinkles and brown spots) with gentle mineral sunscreens. Loaded with potent antioxidants, skin-identical ceramides and cell-communicating peptides to restore and help maintain healthy, radiant skin that looks and acts younger. Ideal for those with rosacea and specially designed to be worn under makeup”.IT’S AT LEAST AS BEAUTIFUL ON ACCOUNT OF ITS GENTLENESS AND LACK OF A COLOUR CAST.

(vii) Paula’s Choice Clinical Ultra-Rich Soothing Body Butter (free sample or $0.80) [$19/113 g]: “Paula’s Choice Clinical Ultra-Rich Soothing Body Butter is the solution for problem dry skin anywhere on the body. This Clinically proven treatment cream immediately softens dry, rough skin and keeps it moisturized for 12 hours. A superior blend of antioxidant-rich plant oils, restorative emollients, soothing anti-irritants, and pure shea butter work together to restore and strengthen skin’s protective barrier. Its rich texture is non-greasy and spreads easily helping dry, cracked skin become healthy again, look younger, and feel velvety-smooth”.

(viii) Paula’s Choice Resist Weightless Body Treatment 2% BHA ($1/ sample) [$25/ 7 ounces]: “Resist Weightless Body Treatment is truly a one-of-a-kind product! This anti-aging body lotion contains an effective amount of salicylic acid (BHA) formulated at a pH range (3.5-3.9) that allows the BHA to have superior exfoliating properties. As a result, it works to soften rough, bumpy areas, ease dryness, help clear breakouts from the neck down, stimulate collagen production and banish dullness for improved skin tone. This silky, lightweight moisturizer sets to a soft matte finish and is packed with proven antioxidants and potent anti-irritants to keep skin youthful and healthy. This specialized body product will reveal younger-looking skin with a renewed firmness, refined texture and fewer discolorations from sun damage”.

Overall, I definitely had a good experience ordering from Paula’s Choice, even as a Canadian customer. Whilst the order had an added charge (even though I qualified for ‘free shipping’), I can understand that for crossing the border and I was pleased that the order came here in about a week and a half, even including weather-related delivery problems – they even gave me the discounted price, even though I ordered a few hours before the sale begun because it did not process until the following day! I will warn you that on the site, the prices are in US dollars, so be warned of the prices being notably higher considering how awful the Canadian dollar is doing at the moment! It’s also nice that the products are made in the US so we do not have to pay duty!

Have you tried anything from Paula’s Choice?
Maggie, x.

 

 

Weekly Medley #56/57

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After a relatively busy week of essay writing, exam preparation stress and minimal sleep, I had somehow convinced myself that during last weekend and the early days of this week I didn’t have to run around like a chicken with its head chopped off and make serious headway on the assignments with steady and continuous deadlines that were looming. It was a mistake, it was only by the grace of the finest caffeine, my disturbing ability to work under the worse conditions optimally and my ability to perform while being very sleep deprived. I survived, which is the important thing – and I didn’t screw anything up royally. Oh, the joys of university student life. Things haven’t slowed down that much but it has gotten to the point that I’m ecstatic that I don’t have any assignments due in the next week and that I have some time to breathe as I conquer my mountain of readings and get on that essay writing train…

  1. Oh, Coffee, how I love thee… We may or may not have plans to elope, but more seriously I don’t know how I would survive without the potent kind of the divine beverage.
  2. Essie Cashmere Matte Collection’s Comfy in Cashmere … My nail polish obsession has continued and this has been my latest object of fixation. It’s one of those gorgeous greige colours with a matte finish – as the name would suggest – and the most gorgeous blue iridescent lean running throughout. I can understand why people are so divided on the polishes in this collection though, – while they are interesting neutrals that have nice pigmentation and interesting hues, they don’t last long on the nails especially without being top coated and they can kind of dry ridiculously fast – but I love this one regardless.
  3. Keeping up with the daily sunscreen … Even though I don’t love wearing sunscreen every day because of the hassle and how finicky my skin is with the stuff, I’ve been keeping up with going for it on the daily and since switching to Differin and going a little heavy on it, using any sort of chemical product (i.e. the Clinique Superdefense) has been out of the question, I’ve gone back to the Avene High Protection Mineral Cream as a moisturizing step in my routine and its been working like a charm, even though it takes some time to blend it and to set to neutralize the pinky white-ish cast.
  4. A New Top-Coat Lemming… I’m one of those people with nail chipping issues so a good top coat is a requirement and at the moment I own zero that can be described as good and have a still functional and usable texture. Over the last few days (somewhat out of frustration), I’ve put some research in and I’ve come to the conclusion that the CND Vinylux Weekly Top Coat needs to come into my life. I don’t even care that it’s not the fastest drying top coat if it keeps polish on as long as people say it does!
  5. Another Drugstore Dash … I’m not going to even apologize for my foray into the local drugstore after class last week, fueled by my desire to buy things and forget about the 2737 things that I was stressed about and joined by my partner in crime – at least I kept it at three items and two of them I’m really pleased with and the other is just fine. First up the OPI ’50 Shades of Grey’ Nail Polish in Cement The Deal has the most amazing formula ever and is far more interesting than it appears as a dullish grey cream, second, I was more than pleased to pick up the Garnier Curl Construct Creation Mousse for a mere few dollars on sale and I’m equally pleased to say that it has been a much more impressive one than the last few that I’ve tried – actually working and neither drying out my hair or leaving that weird residue. On the final note, I like the Maybelline ‘Rebel Nudes’ Lipstick in 700 Barely Bloomed just fine but I made an error with my shade choice, as it’s just another peachy nude that seems to look very similar to a number of lipsticks that I own and love – in the bullet, it appears much more peachy and pastel-y and because of this, I wished I had gone for one of the more corally shades!
  6. My first Paula’s Choice order… Just a tad over a week ago, I bit the bullet and ordered a few things from Paula’s Choice for the first time and this product (the Paula’s Choice Resist Daily Smoothing Treatment) was one of those things and I would have it now if there wasn’t this stupid mix-up that happened with shipping with our bad weather conditions. Regardless, I’m pretty excited to receive my products (and plethora of samples) and should have it early in the week.
Any thoughts on the last few weeks?
Maggie, x.

March Wishlist

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  • Paula’s Choice Resist Daily Smoothing Treatment with 5% AHA ($30 25.50): This doesn’t exactly fit in the standard wishlist criteria, as I’ve already ordered it (along with a smaller size of the Resist C15 Super Booster), but I wanted to talk about it and I figure as it hasn’t arrived yet and it won’t for a few days, it counts – even though I’ve already committed to it. I finally have bit the bullet and ordered Paula’s Choice and I’m particularly excited about this daily chemical exfoliant – it has a slightly lower percent of glycolic acid than most treatments so it will be more suitable for frequent application and is formulated into a soothing hydrating base with some effective salicylic acid (0.5%) added in. Oh, and even though I managed to miss the event, all of the Resist products (including this one) are 15% off at the moment! I am very excited.
  • Zoya Naturel Satins Nail Polish in Rowan ($9): I’m still on my nail polish kick and I’m particularly enjoying these greyed neutrals at the moment. I certainly have some similar colours but as I’ve heard fabulous things about the longwearing satin formula, I’m kind of obsessing about this one. I’ve never tried a Zoya polish but I’ve heard such great things that I’m just about ready to bite the bullet and this “suede taupe cream” looks amazing.

 

  • OGX Quenching Coconut Curls Hair Butter ($7.99): I’m always on the lookout for  rich and intensive conditioning products that are effective but lightweight, helping to detangle and treat my dry hair without weighing down my finer loose curls – and this one looks promising. I’m a fan of the OGX line and I’m partial to their more refined scents, so I’m very tempted to give this curl-enhancing deep treatment a go. While it has mineral oil, which I have found kind of heavy in some formulas, the nice concentration of other oils seems promising and I’m pleased that the formula is not laden with silicones and the silicones included are not dimethicone.

 

  • Living Proof Curl Defining Styling Cream ($34): Again on the difficult curly hair related note, I’ve been intrigued by Living Proof products because they are formulated without silicones and I’ve heard that their polymer formulas somehow manage to add a good level of control and definition to the hair with minimal product and weight. Curl creams can be tricky but the rare few that I have found to actually help with definition along with hydration have been serious loves of mine and this one could potentially be part of that group.
  • NARS Audacious Lipstick in Brigitte ($37): It’s safe to say that this muted coral-tinged rosy lipstick is setting records for appearing in my wishlist posts most often, but while I haven’t picked up this painfully expensive lipstick yet, I’ve decided that as a purchase it’s a foregone conclusion. I’ve had it on my lips and the formula and shade is just that amazing.

 

  • NARS Dual-Intensity Blush in Craving ($52): Although I was enticed by the NARS Dual-Intensity Eyeshadows on more than one occasion, I pride myself on my ability to purchase the beautiful but exorbitantly priced shadows but I’m afraid that I will be giving into this one. I am aware that I need another blush like I need another hole in the head, though. I’m intrigued the most by this sheeny highlighter and bronzer duo, as it comes with a pale pink-toned highlighter shade and a nice bronzer that isn’t too shimmery or unnatural-looking. I will admit that the Fervor offering has me intrigued, coming with ” a shimmering soft pink” and “sparkling deep coppery rose”.
 What have you been lusting after as of late?
Maggie, x.