In my house, beauty products fight for a position on my bedside table. The ones that win are often the ones that look good as well as perform well. Case in point – my new jar of Nivea Soft, which is one of those beauty products that is begging to be displayed. Especially this particular jar of Nivea Soft, thanks to the artistic collaboration with British designer, Giles Deacon. It adds a fun and playful modern twist the iconic design of Nivea we all know so well.
Nivea Soft – such a lovely body cream! It’s rich and moisturizing without being heavy or greasy. I like the easy portability of a tub. I can toss it into my weekend bag without worrying about leaking. Bottles of cream with pumps seem to want to leak in my luggage, so this lovely tub will be my new travel companion. Nivea Soft truly is the “softest” of the Nivea body collection – in texture and scent. It has the lovely signature Nivea scent we all know and love so well, but it’s gentle and dissipates quickly, so as not to interfere with my perfume. I love the soft of old-fashioned feeling of dipping my fingers into the jar for the lovely whipped-cream Nivea Soft as well. And no – I don’t buy into the “OMG PUTTING YOUR FINGERS INTO A JAR IS COMPLETELY UNSANITARY” school of thought that some beauty “gurus” do. I wash my hands a lot, and don’t keep my jars of cream sitting around for years so that they can turn into petrie dishes of yuck. I’ve never once had an issue with a jar of any beauty product turning into something….else.
Not sure how I managed to overlook Nivea Soft Cream. My daughter has always loved it, and keeps a little tube in her purse and a mini jar on her bedside table – it’s her favourite hand cream. I think I might get a tube for my purse as well. Once I get through my Guerlain Super Aqua-Hands…which I love, but for the price, Nivea delivers way more bang for your buck. Verdict – love.
I have small hands, with small nails. More specifically, my “nail beds” are small. The nail bed is the area of skin under the nail, and if one has naturally long nail beds, their hands and nails look longer and elegant, even with short nails. Shorter nails are chic as well as practical, and don’t take quite as much work and maintenance as long nails. One doesn’t have to watch what they do or constantly worry about “breaking a nail”.
I’ve had acrylic nails, nail tips, gel nails etc etc. We all know by now what acrylic nails do to your nails bed – they us a flipping Dremmel on your nails to prepare them for the acrylic. This damages the nails, and, sometimes even fungus grows under them. Ew. Gel manis require regular visits to the salon. I prefer to do my own nails, switch the colour and wear my nails bare at times. So no gel nails for me.
How does one keep their nails short, chic and lovely without looking like stubby little baby nails? There are tricks – you can change the look of your nails without applying thick heavy chemicals or Dremmel-ing them into submission.
Starting with clean nails, gently file your nails into the shape you like. I like the “squoval” shape, which is a square-ish or flat nail with slightly rounded corners. Although, the “almond” shaped nail is making a comeback these days, sort of a throwback to the glamorous nails of the 1970s. Or even the 1940s, frankly. I’m experimenting with a short version of a slightly oval shape. You will have to play around to find the shape you like, that looks best on your hands, and that doesn’t break or tear. One has to be careful when filing the edges of the nails, as too much in the wrong direction can weaken nails. Nail blogger Loodie Loodie Loodie takes an analytical approach to nail care – seriously, she is amazing – and here is a link to posts on nail shapes and what might be best for you. I recommend a glass file, as it appears to file the nail gently, with less tip damage than a rough emery board.
The easiest way to make your nails look groomed and improve the look of your nail bed is to manage your cuticles. Do not cut them – I repeat – do not cut your cuticles. For some reason, cutting them makes them grow back and become harder and thicker. So I prefer the “remove and push back to make them the shape you want” method. All you need for this is Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover and a cuticle pusher and/or orange stick. I like to apply the cuticle remover and let it work, while I file my nails. Then, using the orange stick, push my cuticles back gently. This helps to expose more of the nail bed, and over time, will make your nail bed larger, and then your nails look longer.
Then, using the most gentle buffer I can find, I gently buff the tips of my nails. This helps to smooth the edges that have been filed and seal the nail so there are no rough edges to catch on anything. Your nails may have some slightly rough bits along the cuticle – this is easily remedied by using the buffer. It can be an awkward spot to buff, so I use the soft side of a cushioned nail file to push back the cuticles again. The round edge is gentle to your cuticles, and gentle grade of file is just enough to buff out the rough parts.
Then, I wash my hands. I do this quickly, as bare nails absorb water quite easily. I like to scrub my nails, and I like to use a soft toothbrush. They have enough texture to get rid of the dead skin around the nails that the cuticle remover has softened, and clean under the nail. If you’d like to give your nails a treat, dry them well, and apply a nail oil. I love Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil. Apply it to your entire nail, the cuticles, and the areas all around and under the nail. Leave it for a bit, then rub in well. Apricot and jojoba oil have molecules that are small enough to penetrate the nail and nail bed so they offer true moisturizing properties. Use a rich hand cream and then you apply nail polish the next day. You can apply the cuticle oil around and under your nails after they are polished as well. You will notice a difference within a week – I guarantee it. Another amazing product is LUSH Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter.
You may want to prime the nail surface to be sure the polish adheres. I use a little acetone mixed with glycerin on a cotton pad. This is also what I use to remove my polish. It’s easy and inexpensive to make yourself, and has become my favourite nail polish remover. I put it in a refillable pump bottle because it simplifies my life.
Then, apply your fave polish. I do this routine every ten days to two weeks. Do you have a routine for doing your nails?
Ugh there is nothing like a cold Canadian winter. The temps dip below zero, the furnace cranks up, and everything becomes dry, crinkly and papery. I actually dry my laundry by draping it all over the place just to get extra moisture in the air. Showers and baths feel good because they are, well, water, and that is what our skin is missing, but we have to be careful to replenish and moisturize our skin once we dry off. I have a foolproof trio of goodies that are getting me through this nasty cold weather:
LUSH Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner: Dry skin? If you don’t have this stuff go get some stat. It is miraculous. Perfect post exfoliation in the shower, and ideal for shaving. Seriously, if you haven’t shaved your legs with Ro’s, you will be amazed. You almost don’t need lotion after the shower when you use Ro’s, and it smells like honey & roses. Protip: your underarms will thank you for this.
Lovefresh Sugar Scrub: Scrub away flakes and alligator skin with Lovefresh Sugarscrub – really. I use this head to toe once a week or so and not only does it prep the skin for moisturuzing by leaving it smooth and silky, but it adds a magical moisturizing treatment to your skin. It smells like a sweet sugary treat but really leaves little scent behind on the skin. Protip: use it where you wax to avoid ingrown hairs. You know what I’m talking about.
LUSH Dream Cream: The first LUSH product I fell in love with is still one of my absolute favourites. If you apply Dream Cream at bedtime your skin will still be moist and dewy in the morning. I apply it after the shower and when used with Ro’s, dry skin does not stand a chance! It smells like soft lavender and rose, but again, the scent dissipates and does not interfere with perfume or linger.
What are your cold weather soft skin secret weapons?
As you know, dear readers, I am always looking out for you and looking for ways to keep your skin soft and moisturized. Lips, too, need special care, what with all the mistletoe action at this time of year (note: keep Tic Tacs in purse). Eucerin, long known and loved for its cult moisturiser, Aquaphor, the petrolatum based miracle worker. If you have severely chapped or dry skin, you need Aquaphor. But back to our everyday needs and Eucerin.
Eucerin Intensive Lip Balm is amazing when you need a little more than just a moisturizing product. This repairs and nourishes beautifully with glycerin, shea butter, evening primrose oil, panthenol and lactic acid in a petrolatum base. Before you freak out about petrolatum, remember that it is the main ingredient in Kiehls Lip Balm, (and Carmex, Blistex etc etc) one of the best lip balms on the market. Why? Because nothing holds moisture in better. Ok back to Eucerin Intensive Lip Balm – I love the addition of lactic acid. It is terrific for dry flaky lips for two reasons: the lactic acid molecule works to pull moisture into the cells of our skin, and exfoliates surface cells which helps to perfect the skin’s surface and restore a natural glow, as well as improve absorption of topical treatments. The Eucerin Lip Balm is pretty much fragrance and taste free as well, which is a plus for me. I can smell Carmex lip balm from across the room, let alone on my own lips. Verdict? Love. For around $5 you can’t do better than this.
Eucerin Repair Hand Creme with 5% Urea is meant for intense help with dry, cracked hands, and even for eczema. It feels like silk going on, soaks in beautifully while leaving your hands amazingly soft and smooth. It feels so good and rich you feel like your hands would be greasy and sticky after applying it, but that’s not the case at all. I like to rub it in around my cuticles and fingernails as they seem to suffer the most at this time of year. It is fragrance free which is important in my hand creams. I like my perfume in my perfume and a strong hand cream can take away from that. Eucerin Repair Hand Creme promises improved skin condition over time, so I will watch to see how that pans out. So far I have been using it at bedtime and after having my hands in hot water and am very happy with the way it works. No dry cracked skin on the backs of my hands means it’s working. Verdict? Love. A 75 ml tube is around $10, and a little goes a long way.
Eucerin products are available at drugstores and Walmart.
Goodness knows, I love to moisturize. There are bottles of lotions and potions in every room of the house, in my car, in my purse etc. and I’m rubbing cream on my skin all day long. Pro Tip: in order to maximize your moisture and make the most of whatever lotion or potion you are putting on the skin, one must exfoliate. Best to exfoliate in the shower, then gently blot skin dry and then apply your potion of choice, letting it sink in while you do the rest of your toilette. As you can imagine, I have lots of different scrubs and mits in my arsenal to take care of any dry skin that might be under the impression I want it around. One of my faves right now, is the Lovefresh Sugar Scrub. It’s a yummy scrub in several scents – I have Vanilla, which is lovely for cooler weather- and it’s based on a sugar and shea butter base. Lovefresh is a fun Canadian line using all-natural products which are as luxurious as they are healthy and good for the skin. Also- it was created by a certified aromatherapist, so you can be sure it will smell good.
Lovefresh Sugar Scrub has a fine gritty texture that just feels fresh on the skin, so you really feel your skin getting smoother as you rinse it away. Yet it’s soft and gentle enough not to irritate the skin. It is AMAZING on knees and elbows, and anywhere you want your skin to feel smooth and silky. But, the best part must be due to the shea butter. It actually leaves your skin with a slight glowy sheen of moisture after you scrub. So if you are very careful as you blot dry, you don’t even need to apply lotion! Amazing, I know, and I would not have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes. Of course, my daughter loves it, as she isn’t keen on applying lotion after her shower but doesn’t want to have dry skin either.
Now, I do have some Lovefresh Pink Grapefruit and Tangerine Body Lotion as well, but I’ve been using it has a hand cream. I keep it next to my sink and use it every time I wash my hands. It has a soft gentle fruity scent and it rich enough to keep my cuticles soft and moisturized. I love that the scent is gentle enough to not interfere with my perfume, but just fresh and smells like clean skin. The natural scents used by Lovefresh means there no cloying synthetic headache-y perfumes. The Sugarscrub in Vanilla does smell sweet and edible, but it doesn’t linger too long on the skin. Just the way I like them. Verdict? I am loving Lovefresh and they make a perfect addition to my skincare routine. With the holidays coming, I think they will make perfect gifts (hostess gifts!) as well. The clean and simple packaging is sure to add a nice elegant touch to anyone’s bath.
Or, in which I am not surprised that I am blown away by another Vichy product. I am a Vichy ProEVEN fan, and use it every day, as do both of my daughters. Since I’ve been using Vichy ProEVEN, I’ve never used less concealer in my life. I hear this from readers as well. So we know the stuff works (you can read my review of Vichy ProEVEN here). So how amazing is it that Vichy has jumped on the BB band wagon with a ProEVEN BB Cream. Wow! Now, what is a BB Cream, you ask? BB Cream – BB is short for “Blemish Balm” or “Beauty Balm” is an multi-tasking cosmetic designed to replace serum, moisturizer, primer, foundation, and sunblock. It’s usually worn alone as a tinted moisturizer, over serum and moisturizer as a regular foundation, and under powder, depending on how much coverage you want.
I often find BB creams heavy on the silicone content and actually ended up with blemishes from blocked pores. And I don’t really use a foundation product. But my daughter was asking me about them (benefits of having a mom who is a beauty blogger!) as she wanted something that would last a little longer during the day than her mattefying powder/concealer combo. Knowing that we love Vichy ProEVEN, and more importantly, knowing that it does not irritate our sensitive acne-prone skin, I was keen to try their new ProEVEN BB Cream, or should I say, use my daughter as a
guinea pig test subject. The big attraction to the Vichy BB Cream is that it contains medicated and effective ingredients that improve skin tone, moisturize and reduce pore size, just as the ProEVEN cream does. It contains SPF 20, and the same magical ingredients to even tone that is in their fabulous Vichy ProEVEN Cream.
She loves it, and it blends so seamlessly into the skin I can’t even tell she has make up on. It doesn’t get shiny and does not appear to be blocking any pores, as her skin has been calm and lovely since she has been using it. The silicone content isn’t proving to be problematic, and if used properly, silicone can actually have healing properties. I have actually been using a teensy bit on my t-zone for coverage and mattifying and am really impressed. It is a fine texture that seems to melt into the skin leaving a softly blurred finish. It comes in two “universal” colours Light-Medium and Medium-Dark. I like Medium-Dark used sparingly, as it gives a slightly tan appearance. It really is so sheer but I do recommend testing on your skin if you can.
So- here is the best part! Daly Beauty is having a draw for some Vichy Pro-EVEN BB Cream! We have a few Mediums and Lights to give away, so there will be more than 1 winner. To enter, leave a comment here, be sure to like and comment on the Daly Beauty Facebook page , if you are on Twitter, follow @Daly_Beauty on Twitter, and tweet me that you have entered using the #TeamVichyProEVEN hashtag! Draw will be 6pm October 24, 2012.
Contest is closed, thank you to all who entered! Stay tuned for more giveaways on Daly Beauty, next week we will be giving away some beautiful perfumes!
Winners: Heather Desserud, Melissa Flynn, Lisa Carbone & Gigi Sweeps- congratulations! Please email your mailing infomration to firstname.lastname@example.org
Vichy ProEVEN BB Cream is available at Shoppers Drug Mart, Rexall and Murale in Canada, and online in the US for around $33.
Seriously? Is there anyone? Ok, just to be clear, jubblies is a cute word which is British slang for “breasts”. I don’t know why, but I like it. It sounds so….happy. Happy, perky and bouncy even. See what I did there?
Anyways…LUSH has a cream called Lovely Jubblies for those of use who would like a delicately fragrant, firm and pert chest. This breast cream is full of rich and delicious moisturizing & skin tone improving ingredients like coco butter, almond oil, jojoba oil and rosehip oil. LUSH uses cold-pressed organic oils and fresh flower infusions with the aim of tightening and firming the skin, as well as improving skin tone and elasticity. Then there are the “delicately fragrant” ingredients, which are gorgeous and feminine, almost to the point of being dangerous. Rose, jasmine, orange blossom, orange blossom honey (fragrant AND good for your skin) and ylang ylang. There is a delicate lily note hiding in there – Tiger lilies actually. They apparently have astringent properties and are often used to tighten the skin- perfect for “firming up wobbly bits”.These are all beautiful scents on their own, but downright intoxicating when combined. Especially with the sweet creamy base of coco butter. Mouth-watering, almost. The cream has a lovely texture, without the greasy slippery base of the ubiquitous silicone based products. Coco butter isn’t greasy, and basically just soaks in to beautifully moisturize. So I am using this on more than just my “jubblies”. It soothes and smoothes the skin, and leaves only soft scented skin behind. I use it on my chest, my neck, as well as on my stomach, thighs…and more. It is wonderful on knees and elbows. Have I noticed a marked improvement? Not really, but I don’t ever use any product expecting miracles. Does my skin feel soft, smooth and does it smell good? Absolutely. I really like using LUSH Lovely Jubblies at bedtime, or after the bath. The scent and soothing ritual of the application just feels good, and the scent has encouraged sweet dreams….
Verdict? LOVE. The floral notes in this cream are all my favourites, and are a home run for me. They work beautifully with any of my jasmine, rose or orange blossom perfumes beautifully. I can detect the provocative and sensual scent emanating from my decolletage for a few hours after application. Pampering myself with little rituals like this make me feel…well, sexy. And that’s a good thing.
*This is a scented product. If you are sensitive to fragrance, I would recommend testing it in-store before buying.
Lush Lovely Jubblies is available at LUSH Stores for around $25.
Jergens Original Scent Lotion is available at most drugstores for less than $8 for a 21oz bottle.