Saturday, December 1, 2012

Bring on the Oils!

I'm going to apologize in advance for this text heavy post...

As someone with very oily skin I was always told to steer clear of oils. "Only use products that are oil-free," they said, "oils will make you break out more," they said, blah, blah, blah. I personally think that's a load of crap. I'll admit that for beginners who know nothing about skincare oil-free is easy and if you go that route you'll be just fine. But for the more crazy, obsessive beauty lovers out there, you're going to be missing out on so many great products if you ONLY go oil-free. I will admit that there are certain oils that you don't want going on your face. For the most part, any type of synthetic oil like mineral oil (AKA paraffin liquidium AKA my skincare nemesis) should be avoided like the plague unless you also want to wrap your face up in plastic wrap and call it a night. Most natural oils are great for the skin, though. I'm honestly not too familiar with the properties of difference types of oil (other than the ones I know to avoid!) so if you're really interested in that you'll have to do your own research.

For those of you with no knowledge of my skin type or past skin issues I'll give you a quick brief. I have very oily skin that's prone to congestion and acne. For a long time I struggled with hormonal acne (and still do but it's mostly under control) and hyper-pigmentation. I also live in an extremely dry climate so on top of being very oily I'm also really dehydrated. This led to a spotty, flaky, shiny faced me and until I learned more about skincare I just didn't know how to deal with it. I wish I would have discovered facial oils earlier! 

I've been using facial oils for almost exactly two years now. The obsession started with the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate. I picked up this oil without knowing a whole lot about it. I had seen some reviews of it on YouTube and decided I would give it a go. I used this oil religiously for about nine months or so and I noticed a major improvement in my dehydrated as well as hyper-pigmentation. I ended up taking a bit of a break from this oil in between my first and second bottle (which happened to be during summer so I didn't really need it) but ended up repurchasing it in the winter when my dehydration came back and it worked just as well the second time around. I still love this oil to this day. For the most part I've moved on to other things but I've still got a half full bottle in my collection for when I want to reminisce.

I'm ashamed to admit I fell off the oil bandwagon during my stint with Clinique. I tried to be a good employee and use mainly Clinique products but they just didn't agree with my skin at all. Now I'm working for Clarins (who are big advocates of oils by the way) and I've fallen in love with their facial oils.

I briefly tried the Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil, aimed at dehydrated skin, as I received it at my first training session. I thought it was nice enough, and did help out with my dehydration, but the one I really wanted to try was the Lotus Face Treatment Oil. The lotus oil is geared towards those with combination/oily skin and helps to purify and rebalance the skin. I've only been using this oil for a couple of weeks now but I've already seen a big difference in my skin. I did break out just a little bit for the first two or three days I was using this oil but since then I've been noticing that my pores are much cleaner and it's also been helping with my dehydration. I use this oil every night before bed (you're supposed to use it every night for one month and then just use it as you feel you need it, I'll probably do once or twice a week) and I also love using it underneath facial masks. I pair it with both clay and moisture masks (not at the same time) and it feels so luxurious, like I'm giving myself a mini facial.

Another oil, which if I'm totally honest doesn't belong in this post but I love it so much that I have to mention it, is tea tree oil. I would not recommend applying this oil in the same way as the previous oils (i.e. as a moisturizer). I use this oil solely as a spot treatment, or if I'm breaking out quite badly I'll mix a little bit in with my daily moisturizer and only then will I apply it all over my face. There are loads of companies that sell tea tree oil but my favourite version is from The Body Shop. If you suffer with acne this is a must have. I'm allergic to benzoyl peroxide and so I have issues finding effective spot treatments. This is a great alternative if you're allergic, like me, or just want a more natural option.

Overall I think facial oils are great (I also love cleansing oils but I'll leave that for another post as it really doesn't belong here). I haven't tried that many and I'm sure there are many other great options out there to try but I think anyone can benefit from using a facial oil, especially if you suffer with dehydration. For anyone with oily/acne prone skin I'd highly recommend the Clarins Lotus Oil and tea tree oil as a spot treatment if you need it and for anyone with dehydrated skin I'd recommend either the Clarins Blue Orchid Oil or the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery concentrate. Both Clarins and Kiehl's are really good for giving out samples so if this post still hasn't convinced you see if you can try them out first.

I hope this was helpful and I hope it's convinced you to give facial oils a chance if you were hesitant before!

Get Ready for a Night Out with Me

Here is the latest of the "get ready with me" videos I seem to be doing a lot lately. This is a look I like to wear for a night out, maybe to a party or some other sort of special occasion. I rarely wear any colour of my lips so it's a nice change to do a bit more a bright lip on nights out. This look features MAC's Girl About Town lipstick which is probably one of my all time favourite lip colours and possibly my favourite bold lip. I find it's so flattering and easy to wear and the formula is also amazing. I tend to pair it with a more simple eye but add a little bit of glitter to add some fun. I hope you guys enjoy this tutorial!

(Excuse the slightly yellowy colour. This was an Instagram and I must have used earlybird or something. This picture does show the vibrancy of the lipstick better than in the video, though!)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My Top 10 Lipsticks

I recently posted a video about my top 10 favourite lipsticks lip products. I'm really not a lips girl at all. I prefer to focus on my eyes or cheeks but when I do go for a lip product these are my favourites!

(left to right)
MAC Lipstick Girl About Town
MAC Lipstick Rebel
MAC Lipstick Hue
MAC Lipstick Patisserie
Guerlain Rouge Automatique Champs-Élysées
Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupté Sensual Silk
Yves Saint Laurent Glossy Stain Rouge Vintage
Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment Passion
Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment Berry
Korres Lip Butter Pomegranate

Friday, November 9, 2012

Get Ready for School With Me

I am not a morning person. It's gotten to the point where I'll hit the snooze button until I'm late for school/work and I have to rush to get ready. That's where this super easy makeup routine comes in. When I go to school I'm not too concerned with wearing a lot of makeup. My main focus is to get my skin looking even and healthy and adding a bit of definition with brows and a little curl of the lashes. I think this look is great for girls just starting to get into makeup or if you're just extremely lazy like me and don't like to spend a lot of time in the morning.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

NOTD: Seasons are Changing

Hey guys! I have another post for you all tonight. I needed to repaint my nails and I realized I had completely forgot to do my staple Halloween nail. I typically do a black base with a flake top coat so it looks sort of spooky and Halloween-ish. I decided to do a similar combination but I paired Essie Wicked with Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure (this was a limited edition colour a few years ago but tons of brands have come out with similar polishes since then). I was really impressed with how it turned out.

I love how the colours look like the changing leaves in autumn! Autumn is by far my favourite season of the year. I just love how the colours look so rich and I love the smell of leaves and crisp air together and I love the way the leaves sound when you step on them. This nail combination just screams Autumn to me and that's why I love it. I filmed a short video so you could see the colours a little bit better as it was difficult to try and capture in a picture.

Is it still Autumn where you live? Sadly my city has progressed to Winter (quite a while ago actually) and I'm not impressed. No more frolicking in the leaves for this girl.

October 2012 Favourites

Hey guys! Here is a video I made about my favourite products from this past month. I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Masks! Masks! Masks!

So I've come to the conclusion that I'm an over-exfoliater. I tend to focus my skin care routine more on exfoliating products than I do on cleansing products to the point where I'm realizing it's detrimental to my skin. I notice that when I get a bit lazy and cut back on exfoliating products for a week or two my skin doesn't break out as much and just seems generally happier. Even so I always go back to my harsh routine of Clarisonic, peels, scrubs, AHAs, retinol, the list goes on and on. I think I'm seriously addicted guys. Before I go more in depth with this post I want to warn you all that I've spent the last 48 hours in hardcore paper writing mode so if this post seems a little bit too "academic sounding" I apologize.

For the past week I've been cutting back on exfoliation and increasing my clay mask use. I'm testing a system of using a mask every other day and using my Clarisonic as exfoliation on alternating days. I'll admit I did cheat today and use my Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel AND my Clarisonic... oops! So far the results have been better than I could have imagined. I was examining my face in a magnifying mirror (as one always does at some point in the day haha) and I noticed that the pores around my nose seemed way cleaner than usual. I have very oily skin so blackheads (eww!) are a big issue for me. I've tried everything to get rid of them: pore scrubs, pore strips, oxy pads, you name it I've probably tried it. Anyway, I swear my squeaky clean pores are because of the clay masks I've been using lately. The masks themselves aren't anything new but I think using them more frequently has made the difference.

Proactiv Refining Mask
Lancome Pure Empreinte Masque
Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask
Olay ProX Clear Intensive Refining Mask
Kiehl's Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque

I use each of these masks for different purposes depending on how my skin is acting. The Proactiv and Olay masks are great to use if I'm having quite a bad breakout. They are both sulfur masks but I prefer the Proactiv version. WARNING: they do smell a lot like sulfur and some people might not like this. I don't really mind the smell and I think the benefits of using sulfur for acne is worth a little bit of smelliness. The Origins mask is nice if my skin is misbehaving just a little bit. It's kind of for those occasions where I can feel something cooking under the skin and I want to nip it in the butt. The Lancome mask is included in this post just because I own it and am trying to use it up. It's not a bad mask my any means but I can't stand the smell. My favourite of the bunch is the Kiehl's mask. This is a great clarifying and cleansing mask and I use it when I'm feeling extra oily. To anyone with normal or dry skin: just say no to this mask. It can be a little drying if I'm even slightly dehydrated and a lot of the time I'll only use it in my t-zone. Combination skin should be okay, but stick to using it only in oily areas.

I'll keep you all posted on how this little mask experiment goes and hopefully it keeps working for me. If you have any clay/cleansing masks that you love let me know! I think I'll be finishing these up quite quickly if I stick to my current routine. What are your thoughts on masks v.s. exfoliation? Do you think one works better for you than the other or do you like a combination?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Get Ready for Work With Me

I posted this video the other day about how I do my makeup for work. I do work in the makeup industry so my look tends to change every day and it can vary from a barely there look to a full on smokey eye and bold lip. To be honest, my go to look for work is usually just one colour on the lid blended to a smokey eye because I'm extremely lazy and always running late. I thought that was too similar to what I wear for my going out look so I decided to stick with a very wearable and office appropriate look so that anyone that does work in a more professional environment could take advantage of the tutorial. I like to do this look in the video when I have a little bit more time (and 20 minutes to spare on gel liner). I'm planning on making 2 more videos like this. One for my school routine and one for my going out look. I hope this is useful to some of you!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Loving Him Was Red

Haha sorry about the title. I've been ever so slightly obsessed with Taylor Swift's single Red and today it's been on repeat so I've got r-r-r-r-red stuck in my head. If you like Taylor then you've probably already heard this song but I like it so much better than her new pop songs. I'm not even a country fan but country Taylor all the way. Anyway I thought it somewhat applied to this post about red nail polish. That and - okay, let's be real - I couldn't think of a name other than "here are my favourite nail polishes right now".

Essie Wicked
Joe Fresh Brick
Essie Limited Addiction
China Glaze VIII
Ciate Cabaret
Essie Luxedo
OPI Vodka & Caviar
OPI Lincoln Park After Dark
Essie Bordeaux
Zoya Sooki
(top to bottom, left to right)

I've fallen deeply in love with all kinds of reds and plums this season. Surprisingly these are the only reds/plums/vampy colours I have in my collection... I swear I thought I had more because I love these kinds of colours for autumn and winter. For the past few months I've pretty much only been wearing these colours. Actually, I had a craving for dark nail polish back in the spring and since then I've been back and forth between LPAD and Wicked and my usual spring/summer colours. My top picks out of my collection are: Essie Wicked, Essie Limited Addiction, Ciate Cabaret for something a little different, and Zoya Sooki. To be completely honest I initially bought Sooki because I'm a True Blood addict but it's become one of my favourite reds. I haven't had the chance to wear all of these yet but just looking at them makes me so excited!

Is anyone else a vampy red fanatic like me? What are your top picks for autumn/winter nail polish?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Some New Videos & A Kitty!!

Hi guys! I hope you're all having a great weekend! I'm writing this quite late so I'm going to keep it short and sweet. I recently posted two new videos, one of my current skin care routine, and one of my favourite products for pale skin. These are probably two of my favourite videos I've ever made because the two topics are so important to me.

My Skin Care Routine

I'm obsessed with skin care and this routine has gotten my skin in the best condition it's been in since I was about 14. I don't know exactly which product has been working it's magic or if it's a combination of them all but I'll be sticking with this until I find something I like better.

My Favourite Products for Pale Skin

The second video is near and dear to me because being a very fair skinned girl isn't easy in the makeup world. I know how hard it can be to find products that match a very light skin tone and it's taken me years to find good quality products that work for me. I wanted to make this video to help other pale girls out there and maybe let some of them know that it's okay to be pale!

I also wanted to show you guys the cutest little kitten I found outside my house last night. I was feeding my cat and I saw this little guy staring in through the window. We played for a bit and it was so cute and cuddly haha. It's funny because it actually looks just like my cat but mine is much bigger. I want to keep it but I think it must have an owner nearby. It was far too affectionate and well behaved to be a homeless kitty. I'm hoping it will come by again tonight and maybe we can make this a daily visit kind of thing.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

My Current Beauty Wish List

This post was initially going to be about my current skin care routine to go along with my most recent video. However, I'm currently writing this while wearing a mask that I'm hoping will clear up a bad breakout I'm having at the moment. Needless to say I don't really feel like talking about skin care right now haha! I'll include that video in a separate post just in case you are interested.

I decided to instead make a list of the products I've been eyeing up and would be in my beauty collection right now 
if I had unlimited funds. Some of them are new additions to this seemingly never-ending list and others have been in there for a long time and are those items you always mean to pick up but it never seems to happen.

The first item is Stila Créme Bouquet. Oh. My. God. This is seriously one of the best smelling perfumes I've come across in a while. I was actually working at a makeup event right beside the Stila counter and for hours I was wondering why this store had such a nice smell. Eventually I found out it was the Stila makeup artist that smelled so good! She told me was wearing Créme Bouquet so I tried it on and instantly fell in love with it. It's not my usual type of scent so I was surprised I liked it so much. I'm really horrible at describing scents but I think it contains vanilla, lots of florals, and something sweet. It's a very girly and feminine scent and out of everything on my wish list this is the product most likely to be purchased by me in the near future.

Korres Wild Rose + Vitamin C Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial is a product I've been curious about for a while now. I haven't tried much from Korres so I'm not sure how my skin would handle it (I've got crazy temperamental skin FYI) but the name of this mask makes me think I would love it. Rose and vitamin C? Count me in! I also love the concept of a sleeping facial. It just sounds so luxurious.

I received a sample of the Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation a few weeks ago because I was curious about the "second skin" type of foundations. So far the CHANEL, Estée Lauder, and Clarins versions have been too dark for extremely pale me but I managed to find a decent match in this one. I use the shade 0.5 (the lightest colour Urban Decay makes) and it's only slightly off, nothing anyone normal would notice, really. I think I'll hold off on this one until next year when the weather get's warmer as I feel like this makes a nice spring/summer foundation.

I think I'm literally the only makeup obsessed person to not own an Urban Decay palette. I was never overly impressed with the gold/orangey, super shimmery shades in the first Naked palette so I didn't expect I would want the Naked 2 palette. I do think these colours would be so much more flattering on my skin and I can see myself using a lot of the shades. The problem is that if I were to just see this in the store, not knowing about all the hype, I probably wouldn't take a second look at it. It's not that I don't like the palette - I just don't use palettes unless I make them myself or I like all the colours inside A LOT. I know this would just end up being shoved to the back of my "spare palette" drawer and never been seen again. Is it wrong that I still want it? It's peer pressure I tell you, I need to get over this Naked palette obsession. It's unhealthy.

I love Living Proof. Everything I've tried from them has been great. Their shampoos are clarifying but non-drying. Their conditioners are moisturizing yet lightweight. Their mousse is volumizing and isn't crunchy. I could go on but I won't. I really want to try the Restore Mask Treatment because it's been ages since I've used a hair mask and I just feel like I should have one. I know I would like this product and I know it would be good quality but the price tag on Living Proof products is outrageous. I have seen some of their products at Winners for fairly reasonable prices so if I happen to stumble upon this there I'll probably get it.

I've mentioned the Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Face Polish in my videos a few times and I love this product! I got it as a deluxe sample from a Sephora purchase and it's the perfect texture for an exfoliant. The beads are gentle but it still feels like it's doing something. I also think it smells good but I honestly don't know for sure because I can't remember. I have like 3 other exfoliants I need to use up before I buy this and I've even been using them on my hands to try and use them up faster.

Last product guys! Many of you may know that I'm obsessed with the Fresh tinted lip balms. I have all of them with the exception of Coral because it was a newer release and I decided I already owned enough of these. When I saw the Berry version on Sephora I decided I could do with keeping one more in my bag. Now I haven't actually seen this in person yet but I'm 99% sure I'll love this colour. I'm hoping it will give me the perfect - "Oh, I'm not wearing anything! My lips are just naturally this pouty and gorgeous." - kind of look that I can never seem to find.

Phew! That was a long one. Realistically I'll probably only end up getting one or two of these products. I don't even know if I ended up purchasing anything off my last wish list post. Any-who let me know if any of you have tried these products and what you thought of them and I'd love to know what's on your wish list!

Monday, October 8, 2012

I'm Back!

Hi blog friends! It's been quite a while since I was last on here but recently I've been craving the YouTube/blogging lifestyle again. I'm not going to promise to make this a regular thing because we all know how that goes. Instead, I'm going to film and blog when I feel like it and when I have time and I hope you'll all be patient with my lack of consistency. ;)

You might have noticed that my blog has had a little makeover. I like it so much better than before! It still isn't as good as a lot of the blogs I read and admire but I'm hopeless with html so I'm happy with what I've produced using the blogger templates and limited formatting options. I've also changed the URL to just for consistency (this shouldn't affect any of my current followers unless you're trying to type in the URL directly).

I'm working on my first "official" post of the year right now (this one doesn't really count) but in the meantime here's a video I posted about a week ago about some of the products I've accumulated in the past few months.

Enjoy! I'll talk to you all soon!

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