Simplify Your Skincare Routine: Rodan + Fields Redefine

Simplify Your Skincare Routine: Rodan + Fields Redefine

I have no shortage of skincare stuffs in my stash. I try lots and lots of products (so you don’t have to) and some I love, some I learn to love, some give me zits, some give me a rash, some make my skin peel. When a new Rodan+Fields regimen came across my beauty desk, I thought it might worth a try. The first Rodan+Fields product I ever used is Proactiv. I still use Proactiv from time to time, as do my daughters. My oily acne prone skin benefits from their cleanser and lotion when it’s feeling particularly oily or zitty. So Proactiv is always in my skincare cupboard. It’s simple no-nonsense skincare, and it’s easy to use. I like that. I like it even more now that I can buy it from a retail shop as well.

Rodan + Fields Redefine Regime

Rodan + Fields Redefine Regime

The Rodan+Fields Refine regime is simple and easy, and makes some pretty reasonable claims. The Refine Kit I have includes a clay cleanser/exfoliant, a refining/exfoliant toner, a daytime moisturizer with full spectrum SPF 30 protection, and a night cream that restores. From the Rodan+Fields website:

Redefine Daily Cleansing Mask:

Creamy, kaolin clay-based cleansing mask dries in two minutes, drawing impurities from pores without robbing skin of essential moisture. Fine dimethicone microbeads gently exfoliate to smoothe the skin without disrupting skin’s delicate moisture barrier.

Redefine Pore Minimizing Toner:

Exclusive combination of pore-clarifying ingredients minimizes the appearance of enlarged pores in this fast-acting, alcohol-free liquid vehicle. Gentle polyhydroxy acids exfoliate pore clogging dead skin cells while natural oligosaccharides help reduce the appearance of pores and prepares skin for the treatments that follow.

Redefine Overnight Restorative Cream:

An ultra-hydrating cream which replenishes skin’s natural moisturizing factors (NMFs) while you sleep for visibly firmer, less-lined skin in the morning. Moisture recycling complex of hyaluronic acid and glycerin prevent moisture loss while 12-hour, time-released antioxidants A, C and E replenish vital skin nutrients.

Triple Defense Treatment Broad Spectrum SPF30:

A moisturizing treatment with photostable broad spectrum SPF 30 protection. It contains a clinically proven concentration of powerful peptides to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles and visibly firm skin. SHIELDrf provides effective broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection and visibly decelerates the signs of photoaging that appear over time.

I love the Cleanser – it is a gentle exfoliating cleanser that my oily and sensitive skin loves. My skin feels fresh when I use it – not scrubbed. It says you can use it daily, however I use it a couple times a week which is perfect for me. I use the toner in the evening, and it makes my skin feels fresh as a daisy for the Overnight Restorative Cream. It feels terrific on the skin, and I do wake up with a glow. I will sometimes use it under my Garnier Miracle Sleep Cream, for extra moisture and radiance.

I use Dove Soap in the morning, then the Triple Defense Treatment Broad Spectrum SPF30. It feels moisturizing and my skin drinks it up. It works beautifully under makeup as well. If I need a little more moisture, or if I’m tired and dehydrated, I use my latest Vichy love – LiftActif Supreme (review to come).

I’ve been using Rodan+Fields Refine for a little over a month, and each product does what it promises. My skin is smooth and radiant, with no signs of irritation or breakouts, which is saying a lot! My skin feels smooth and fresh, and fine lines are less visible, which is probably a combination of the exfoliating and moisturizing properties of the products. There is a slight scent to all the products, but it’s soft and clean smelling and doesn’t last on the skin. I love all the products and would recommend them to anyone looking for a smoother glowing complexion!

vintage beauty ad skincare

All four products can be purchased on the Rodan +Fields website for $193 USD.

Look Wide Awake Without Trying: The Only Concealer You Will Ever Need, And A Perfect Eyelid Primer

Look Wide Awake Without Trying: The Only Concealer You Will Ever Need, And A Perfect Eyelid Primer

It is not often that I use a beauty product that blows my mind. Yes, I fall in love with many beauty items, and they often fall into the pile of All The Beauty Products Like This That I Love And Already Own. I also have holy grail items that become the favourite, the one thing I fall back on, even if I have other similar items that I love. If you read this blog you know that Lancôme Effacernes Waterproof UnderEye Concealer has been my go-to for doing exactly what it says it does for around twenty years. I’m not sure what made me try something different. I read a review somewhere for a Tarte concealer. I bought it, and while I like it well enough, it is very thick, and despite the fact it’s called “creaseless”, it is not. Thick as in “concentrated” is one thing, but thick as in “goopy and hard to blend” is another. The review I’d read mentioned a “glow”, and I did not get that.

So, hours days a month or so later, I’d read everything I could find on concealers. I read blog reviews of expert opinions I trust (vs editorial content that is the same on every blog because they are all being paid/given product to write a good review), I read Make Up Alley, I read Sephora customer reviews.

At Armani Beauty Counter - thank you Jolanta!

At Armani Beauty Counter – thank you Jolanta!

After much comparing and analysis, I narrowed it down to one- Giorgio Armani High Precision Retouch Concealer ($39 USD). Anyone who uses this is probably gently nodding their head right now, saying “Yes, this is The One you were looking for, Grasshopper”. I popped over to the Neiman Marcus Armani Beauty Counter where I met Jolanta, the Armani MUA.  A love woman, Jolanta is Polish (her lovely accent was easy to spot!), smart, funny and gorgeous. She was so lovely! She sat me down and said “Let me treat you!”*. First, she busted out the Crema Nera Reviving Eye Cream, which she said adds radiance. It sure felt good, and it did look pretty amazing on it’s own, but for $170 USD, I was not immediately sold.

Anyways, she went on to test out different shades of the Armani High Precision concealer until she found the one she thought best. One was actually a perfect match for my skin, so it looked invisible, and one was a tad lighter, which always freaks me out because I remember the 80s. I would have gone for the exact match, if left to my own devices. But, she insisted it would be better to go with the lighter one. I looked in her mirror right away and was like WUT.

Natural makeup look,  using Armani concealer + Dior primer, with Blinc mascara

Natural makeup look, using Armani concealer + Dior primer, with Blinc mascara. Look how it glows under my eyes! Outside in shade.

From the Armani Beauty website:

A high precision concealer which blurs imperfections, treats dark circles, and highlights the complexion. Contains light reflecting pearls, which diffuse light for radiant skin. Vitamin E and moisturizers pamper the delicate eye area. High definition applicator. All skin types.
- conceals imperfections and blurs dark circles
- adds radiance
- rich, moisturizing formula
- high-definition applicator

Those “light reflecting pearls” are so subtle they are not really visible to the naked eye. This swatch on my hand looks matte. It is only when I stand back and look in the mirror that see a visible glow! I could not stop staring at myself.

Giorgio Armani High Precision Retouch Concealer

Armani High Precision Retouch Concealer swatched in indirect natural light, applied on left, blended on right

Armani High Precision Retouch Concealer Dior Backstage Eye Prime

Armani High Precision Retouch Concealer Dior Backstage Eye Prime

 

 

Inside, with natural light

Inside, with natural light

Armani High Precision Retouch Concealer is amazing. The tiny brush allows you to put a tiny drop anywhere you want. I use a tiny amount under my eyes, and on the inside of my eyes, around my nose, on lines, and on blemishes. It blends seamlessly, and wears on and on. I did yoga (regular, not hot) while wearing it, watched a few animal videos on Facebook that made me cry, and STILL it looked incredible. I used the Dior Backstage Eye Prime on my lids – it is my new obsession for a no-makeup-makeup look, and stays put all day. Protip: a paler shade on the eyelids adds a youthful look. A light dusting of Jane Iredale Pure Pressed Base and touch of Dior Rosy Glow Healthy Glow blush, which is a lovely petal pink blush.

*side note: sometimes, when you feel down, tired or just bleh, there is something about having someone touch you gently and just pamper you. I remember when my father was very sick, near the end of his life, and I felt like I was living in the palliative care unit. I went to see my girlfriend who was with La Mer. She had an aesthetician at the counter that day and she said, “You look tired. Let me give you a hand treatement”. She went on to wash, scrub and massage my hands, while I turned to jelly in her chair. So much tension left me, I may even have had a little cry. But there was something so wonderful about trusting someone else and letting them take care of me. I feel like this when an awesome MUA is working on my face. Heaven.

Banish Oil & Pores With Shu Uemura Under-Base Pore Eraser Mousse SPF 35

Banish Oil & Pores With Shu Uemura Under-Base Pore Eraser Mousse SPF 35

Shu Uemura Pore Eraser Under Base is a mousse formula skin primer that is the sheerest beige ever- almost invisible on skin but it does give enough of a glow to make it better than bare skin. It also works as a primer which means it makes a nice surface for other make up like powder, blush and bronzer. Plus, it has SPF35, which is perfect. Unlike many primers on the market, it does not contain silicone. This is not an issue for everyone, but if your skin is silicone sensitive, this is key, as breakouts are not an issue for me with this beauty.

I imagine you could layer foundation over it if you were so inclined but I find adding a bit of powder and concealer is all the coverage I need. Under Base has witch hazel for minimizing pores and some kind of magic potion that makes skin glow without shining. Sort of what I wanted MAC Strobe cream to be without making me look like I was going to a rave or had at least been sweating at one all night. Yikes.

Same Under Base in Beige (what I use) now called Pore Eraser

Same Under Base in Beige (what I use) Pore Eraser

I like to keep as few layers of stuff on my face as possible. As I say ad nauseum, my skin is oily, sensitive and prone to breakouts, and certain sunscreens can be problematic. When one first applies Under Base there is a bit of a white cast on the skin, which initially terrified me – but, of course that is the sunscreen. Not to worry, it blends and dissipates leaving only a dewy yet matte surface. As far as colour or tint goes, Under Base has a pretty perfect and light “presence” on the skin and stays matte for hours. It has a neat semi- sticky consistency when first applied, which I swear just grabs the make up you apply and holds onto it for dear life, making it last even longer. Love it. I apply only this to my face before heading out to spend a day in the sunshine and have yet to get a sunburn.

This is around 4 hours after applying some powder/concealer & blush over Under Base. It is 30C with 60% humidity. No. Shine.

This is around 4 hours after applying some powder/concealer & blush over Under Base. It is 30C with 60% humidity. No. Shine #nofilter

Shu Uemura has gone into very limited distribution in North America but we are lucky that Holt Renfrew in Canada carries the line and indeed this product – I paid around $45 CAN. I don’t know if Shu Uemura is even sold in the USA anymore….It sells out quickly in Canada and I usually buy 2 cans at a time. But they do last me 6 mos+, keeping in mind I am an “under applier” and go easy on my make up application, and I also don’t wear it in cold, dry weather. There is a reason this stuff is a cult fave. Have you tried it? Thoughts?

 shu uemura

 

 

(Ingredient list: OCTINOXATE 4.9% , TITANIUM DIOXIDE 1.9% , , COSMETIC INGREDIENTS , WATER , SYNTHETIC FLUORPHLOGOPITE , SEA WATER , CALCIUM CARBONATE , BUTANE , BUTYLENE GLYCOL , PROPANE , ISOBUTANE , DIPOTASSIUM GLYCYRRHIZATE , HAMAMELIS VIRGINIANA (WITCH HAZEL) EXTRACT , HDI/TRIMETHYLOL HEXYLLACTONE CROSSPOLYMER , PEG-10 DIMETHICONE , STEARETH-10 , CETEARYL ALCOHOL , CAPRYLYL GLYCOL , POLYSORBATE 60 , POLYSORBATE 20 , CETYL ALCOHOL , METHICONE , HYDROGENATED EGG OIL , PROPYLENE GLYCOL , TOCOPHERYL ACETATE , PENTANE , C9-15 FLUOROALCOHOL PHOSPHATES , ETHANE , HEXYLENE GLYCOL , SILICA , ALUMINUM HYDROXIDE , CHLORPHENESIN , PHENOXYETHANOL , METHYLPARABEN , HYDROXYISOHEXYL 3-CYCLOHEXENE CARBOXALDEHYDE , BUTYLPHENYL METHYLPROPIONAL , CITRONELLOL , FRAGRANCE)

Nail Butter Will Give You Nails Like, Well, Buttah

Nail Butter Will Give You Nails Like, Well, Buttah

This season is wreaking havoc on my hands. My gorgeous nails have snapped off one by one, and are now short and sweet, if you will. In the meantime, I was desperate for something more intense than my oils. I have and love LUSH Lemony Flutter, but I had read a few fellow bloggers raving over Nail Butter. So I had to get in on it!  The first thing I noticed is the generous size of the bottle (I can’t find the actual size of the bottle) and that the jar is lovely, heavy frosted glass. Details make a difference and I love attention to detail. Nail Butter is a luxurious product that comes in a luxurious package.

SNL-Coffee-Talk_l

Linda Richman has nails like buttah, & we’re all a little verkelmpt

Here is what the Nail Butter website says about it’s product and it’s gorgeous and smart founder, Christine Cole:

The Nail Butter Story:
This handmade all natural nail treatment will heal and strengthen your nails and cuticles in just days! Originally developed over 30 years ago, Nail Butter has been a family secret for decades! As a dental hygienist, Christina’s grandmother experienced very weak thin nails along with dry cracking cuticles due to constantly washing her hands. After several years of trial and error Christina’s father was able to develop a proprietary blend of ingredients that enhances new growth by stimulating circulation to the nail matrix while restoring moisture to the nail bed and cuticle. After seeing this formula work for many years first hand,Christina decided to share Nail Butter with everyone who struggles to maintain healthy nails!

100% natural, Nail Butter is used to strengthen and rejuvenate nails by enhancing growth and maintaining optimal moisture levels for your nails and skin. No cover-ups here! Nail Butter treats your nails!

Nail Butter believes that less is more. Only pure and natural Ingredients go into our product so that you can feel confident about getting the best product for your skin without any added chemicals or side effects! Nail Butter does not contain any Parabens, Sulfates, Phthalates, Artificial dyes or Fragrances. 100% Natural ingredients.

nail butter dalybeauty

I rub Nail Butter into the nail, as well as the cuticles and surrounding area

So there isn’t really a lot of information about the secret ingredients in Nail Butter, but it smells rich and floral and feels divine. It has a sort of gardenia- monoi scent. I detect an odd note upon first applying it – it smelled a bit “foody” in a savory way and I could not figure it out. I was messaging the company after I bought them and found out mustard oil is one of the ingredients. This can smell like food I guess! It disappears quickly leaving a yummy honey floral scent behind. You can feel  your skin drinking it up as you apply, as well as a marked improvement in the condition of your skin and nails. I’m back into using it as part of my routine, and my nails and hands are happy. I got my Nail Butter from their website for $24 USD. Verdict? LOVE! You need this.

Have A Miraculous Sleep With Garnier Ultra-Lift Miracle Sleeping Cream

Have A Miraculous Sleep With Garnier Ultra-Lift Miracle Sleeping Cream

We’ve all tried night creams, amirite? They are usually heavier than a day cream, as they are intended to address our skincare needs when our skin is optimally ready for help, and this time happens to be while we sleep. We slather them on and hope for a miracle. I recently spent some quality time with Garnier and they spoiled me with their skincare miracles and goodness!

Make-up free & ready for my Garnier Miracle!

Make-up free & ready for my Garnier Miracle!

Let us first address the issue of nighttime skincare. Does our skin do different things at night?  The skin does go through some changes as you sleep. It’s metabolic rate increases and cell production increases as well, and blood flow seems to be higher at night. When blood flow is increased to the skin, the area of absorption of whatever you put on at night likely increases as well. Night creams/serums absorb easier and more deeply into skin at night since it isn’t conflicting with any other products, like say makeup . The warmth of our skin will also accept the products better than, say, running around all day in cold weather etc. If your skin is dry, using a deeply moisturizing night cream can do the “hard work” for you overnight so it won’t disturb your makeup during the day. Also, some night time products contain retinols which should not used when your skin is exposed to UV light.

That's a bedtime miracle right there.

That’s a bedtime miracle right there.

Now. Let’s discuss “sleeping creams”. They are different from night creams as they are designed to do a little more heavy lifting, pardon the pun. I’d say they are more like a mask, but with a gorgeous melting texture – “self smoothing”- and the technology behind them was inspired by the hugely popular sleeping packs from Asia. Sleeping creams feel utterly different from a heavy night cream and simply feel lovely and soothing on the skin. This is what Garnier has created with their Ultra-Lift Miracle Sleeping Cream. From Garnier:

Garnier introduces Ultra-Lift Miracle Sleeping CreamTM Night Cream, a new product that combines the hydrating and recharging power of a mask with the light and refreshing feel of a cream. This anti-aging formula reduces signs of dull and dry tired looking skin. Infused with Lavender Essential Oil*, Rare Plant Extracts, Adenosine, Hyaluronic & Beta Hydroxy acids, the care helps exfoliation of the skin surface layer, repairs skin’s moisture barrier and reduces the look of wrinkles. Night after night, skin looks energized, younger, feels lifted and firm.

Results:
1st Morning:
• 93% said skin felt smoother & hydrated
• 77% said skin looked rested.

In 1 week:
• Wrinkles look reduced.

In 4 Weeks:
• 91% said skin texture looked improved
• 77% said skin felt firmer and looked revitalized.

My morning elevator selfie plus bonus coffee

My morning elevator selfie plus bonus coffee. It’s a bit blurry but trust me. My skin is feeling fab!

 

I’ve been using the Ultra-Lift Miracle Sleeping Cream along with the Ultra Lift Sleeping Eye Cream for a few weeks and so far I loveth them, I do. I love the soothing feeling of the cream, and who doesn’t want to wake up with a glow? Every time I use it I am AMAZED that they are drugstore products. It feels like a sponge of moisture feeding my skin, if that makes sense. I am wearing less makeup – basically some concealer around my eyes (I haz old), a dusting of powder and blush. That’s it!

If you have dry, tired and/or fatigued skin that needs some TLC, I highly recommend you run out to the drugstore and treat yoself. I would also say this is not limited to “aging” skin. Anyone who wants to pamper and moisturize and wake up like they slept a spa should use the Garnier Ultra-Lift Miracle Sleeping cream line. Verdict? Love. You will not spend a better $24.99 CAN. You can get Garnier products

Biddy & I had a Garnier slumber party in their AWESOME Garnier Dark Spot Treatment Masks. Review to come. Get some.

Biddy & I had a Garnier slumber party in their AWESOME Garnier Dark Spot Treatment Masks. Review to come. Get some.

 

 

* regarding the lavender – lots of people say omg lavender is not good for the skin on your face! Is it? I don’t know. I found arguments for and against on the internet. I use Osmia Organics Spot Treatment for acne and I love it. In the Garnier Sleeping Cream line, the lavender is minimal, and simply for aromatherapeutic reasons, ie to help you sleep. 

How Perfume Boredom Led To i smell great™

How Perfume Boredom Led To i smell great™

Regular readers of my blog know that I can count the number of times I’ve written a rave review about a newly released perfume on one hand. I love perfume, and I love writing about perfume, but the only perfumes that have interested me enough to write about have either been niche, which often means expensive and/or hard to find, or vintage and vanished from the market. I hoard my vintage perfumes that will never be made again, and I resent having to pay a fortune for some niche brand that uses the same ingredients as everyone else.

By now everyone knows about i smell great™, the perfume brand created by Randi Shinder and myself. Randi created and launched three beauty brands that were so groundbreaking they formed new categories in fragrance and skin care. And, we are both perfume junkies, in the truest sense of the word. We eat, sleep and breathe perfume. We obsess about scents and flavours all. The. Time. Stimulate our sense of smell or taste, and we are already dreaming about how this or that would work in perfume. Both of us have been obsessive “noses” since we can remember. Scents haunt us, and they haunted us until we captured them and bottled them, like perfume ghosts.

Randi and I would often get so excited about a scent we would hear about. Then, we’d try it and find it was pretty much exactly the same as many many perfumes before it. Cue the sad trombones. Newsflash: the industry is full of imitation. If one perfume has commercial success, wait for every other designer to release a perfume that smells “similar”. They copy the successful one, maybe tweak it a tiny bit (and maybe not) and then call it something else. Just wander around any perfume department and smell all the top sellers. A well developed nose will be able to find the sameness in everything.

The names are often ridiculous and have nothing to do with what the perfume smells like. Reveal, Downtown, Encounter and how about 18 different editions of Eternity for women and another 14 Eternity versions for men? Oy. Sorry, Calvin, but you aren’t even trying anymore. Talk about phoning it in.

Then there is this business of “notes” in perfume. It used to mean a lot more, and still does with some niche and artisanal perfumers. But for most mainstream perfumes, that cacophony of  top, middle and base notes aren’t really telling us what the perfume smells like. It’s ad copy. It’s a romantic idea of the scent. Yes, yes, some of those synthetic molecules are meant to smell like certain things, but that doesn’t mean assembling them together as if you are Jacques Guerlain (SPOILER ALERT: YOU ARE NOT) is going to create another Shalimar. It’s like a habit that the consumer thinks they need to know. Do you? I know I don’t care. I want to know if it smells good, and those vague and random recipes and notes rarely tell me anything about the scent.

So. Why not make perfumes for the masses, why not make perfumes for those who really just want to wear an uncomplicated scent that just smells great? Why not make perfumes that don’t cause headaches, perfumes that don’t choke everyone around you with chemical scent enhancers that elevate perfume projection to nuclear levels? Yes, lady who bathes in Angel before getting on that elevator, I’m looking at YOU. Stop. Now.

I can’t wait to share how Randi and I came to create our perfumes. How the things we loved became perfumes. How the scented products that accompany the perfumes have bases that were just as important as the perfumes. I challenge you to spray your hands with i smell great™ Wellness Water Fragrance Mist. The luxurious base of purified water and skin-healthy ingredients means you can rub it in and it will feel great as well as smell great. Go ahead and try that with a mainstream body mist. Be careful though, it will probably dissolve your nail polish.

Stay tuned for more of our story!

What I’m Loving Right Now

What I’m Loving Right Now

Music: I’m still loving Lana Del Rey – her latest album, Ultraviolence, has been on heavy repeat. But my summer love this year has got to be Bebel Gilberto, and her album Tanto Tempo has been my “weekend spent lying in the sun on the dock reading” soundtrack. I’m all about the Bossa Nova sound these days.

TV marathon: Well, Netflix has been a game changer, and allows me to watch a series in the best way – marathon! I still love HBO (riveted to Masters of Sex, disappointed by True Blood series finale) but Mr. Selfridge was so wonderful, I just adored it! I think it has something to do with the creation of my favourite floor of the department store – the ground floor! How the selling of beauty and perfume products in public, in sight of everyone, was a radical thing to those Edwardians. The set of the show was sumptuous, with Selfridge’s perfume department stocking the perfumes our mothers and grandmothers wore: Yardley, Guerlain, Floris, Caron, Penhaligon’s and more. After researching which ones were right for 1914, they approached the companies and were surprised to receive many valuable bottles from the perfume houses’ archives. The French house, Caron, lent large crystal and 24-karat gold urns. Customers used to bring their own perfume bottles and the undiluted perfume was decanted into them at the counter. Drool-worthy stuff for the perfume nerds of the world!

Can you even!

Can you even!

Food: Ah, the simple and delicious beauty of the chopped salad! If there is one thing I ate TONS of this summer, it was the chopped salad. Believe or not, Dole makes an amazing one and it is so easy to customize with more yummy stuff. Cheese, grilled meats, cold cuts, antipasto stuffs….the possibilities are endless. I was discussing the beauty of the chopped salad with friends last night (as they were raving over Dole’s Italian Chop) and we all agree- the finely chopped ingredients mean you get a perfect mouthful every time!

ItaliennePeporoni

Fashion: The summer of the kimono! I just love them, and the boho touch they add to any outfit. A flowy chiffon kimono makes channeling your inner Stevie Nicks easy!

Distressed "boyfriend" jean shorts, silk cami top, & silky flowing kimono

Distressed “boyfriend” jean shorts, silk cami top, & silky flowing kimono

Skincare: I am a hand lotion junkie, and am NEVER without a tube of something lovely in my purse. I saw Hand Chemistry at the drugstore. A quick Google told me Hand Chemistry sold out when it was launched in the UK, and that women loved it so much they were using it on their faces. WHAT. For around $20, I was in. Hand Chemistry doesn’t advise using it on your face, it does admit its lotion was inspired by face creams. ‘As hands can age more dramatically than the face, we had to include higher concentrations of a selection of the most effective anti-ageing technologies to be able to produce a very visible difference within just a few days”. I love it! It smells soft and fresh, makes my hands feel beautiful, has no greasy residue, and I use it around my eyes if my skin feels dry when I’m out and about. They have a body product, too, but I haven’t seen it yet. As soon as I do, it’s mine!

hand chemistry intense-youth-complex

 

Makeup: I have two favourites in heavy rotation this summer! First, the silky soft and super pretty DDM Lip Gloss in St Tropez ($12.99). Feels great I love the soft natural look it gives my lips. Second, it’s Hourglass Gel Liner ($45 for a 3 pack) – this is serious HG material! I use it to tight-line my upper lashes and I swear this stuff does not budge until I remove it.

DDM Lip Gloss St Tropez Hourglass Gel Liner

DDM Lip Gloss – the wand lights up! So pretty.

10593409_259022224294634_847115406_n

Longest day ever & Hourglass Gel Liner has not budged. Crazy!

Perfume:  This summer I’ve been feeling the florals. I have a bottle of vintage Jean Patou Joy eau de parfum (my favourite concentration of this scent…) and just a little spritz of this gorgeous classic makes me feel dressed up, soapy clean and beautiful.

Vintage Joy ad - Eau de Joy became Joy Eau de Parfum

Wash Away Dull Skin & Get Radiant In Bed

Wash Away Dull Skin & Get Radiant In Bed

Oh, great. Another hormonal break out. UGH!

Just when I think all I need to do is manage my ageing skin, another zit pops up. Ugh. Hormonal acne is difficult to control, as it rarely influenced by what you put ON the skin. I have found it is exacerbated by certain skincare products, like silicones and certain oils (not mineral oil, oddly). Yet it not often improved by skincare products, so what I hope for is control, and then damage control. A nasty cyst can sometimes leave a mark, and sometimes even a small pimple can leave a mark. So even though the pimples themselves have moved on, the damage done can linger for weeks, even months.

Another way to get radiance in bed...

Another way to get radiance in bed…

This is where tone correctors come in. I have been loving Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Gel Cleanser, but decided I would try the PTH Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel, as it gets rave reviews by my age group (it is key to adjust the search criteria to a relevant peer group) on MakeUpAlley.

From Peter Thomas Roth:

Oil-free, anti-wrinkle technology helps to clarify and brighten with glycolic acid, salicylic acid, extracts of peach, white oak bark, lemon, lime, linden, grapefruit, and arginine. An advanced deep pore resurfacing action supports natural cell turnover to help diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging. It helps to effectively detoxify the pores, dissolve makeup, emulsify oil, and improve skin texture as it gently sweeps away dead skin cells and impurities that can make the complexion appear dull.

I do love it, and feel it is somehow gentler on my skin, while still exfoliating and adding radiance.

I am a giant fan of Vichy ProEven. Because I am always trying new things (so you don’t have to!), it is easy to shift my routine and not really notice what is missing, vs what is new. So I realized I had not been using ProEven, and that indeed I was out. I remembered I had Vichy ProEven Night, and hadn’t given it a full test drive. Well, I’m glad I did!

From Vichy:

Unique resurfacing technology with the highest concentration of LHA (3x more than the day formula), Ceramide Bright™ and Vitamin C. It infuses into all layers of the skin at night to act during the cells’ natural skin regeneration process for a resurfacing action all night long.

I swear it is not psychosomatic when I see results in TWO DAYS. That’s right. I went from feeling crappy and like hiding, using concealer like spackle, to feeling glowy and on the road to improvement. Now, ten days later, my skin tone is dramatically improved, and I don’t feel the insecurity that plagues one when we have spots on our faces.

Soft glowing skin? Why, of course, Mr Bond.

Soft glowing skin? Why, of course, Mr Bond.

As an aside, I am going to be trying Spironolactone to treat the underlying cause of my acne. It seems to be quite popular as a treatement for hormonal acne in women in my ahem, age group. Have you tried it? Do you know anyone who has used it? Any advice? Thanks!

You can get Vichy ProEven Night at Shoppers Drug Mart, $49, and Peter Thomas Roth AntiAging Cleansing Gel is at Sephora $49.

Even Grown Ups Get Break Outs – Vichy Is Here For Your Skintervention

Even Grown Ups Get Break Outs – Vichy Is Here For Your Skintervention

There is something completely unfair about having to battle ageing skin AND acne at the same time. Yes we know, the plus side to having acne prone skin is that oily skin does not wrinkle as early and as much as dry skin. So there’s that. But that is cold comfort when yet another breakout happens, or when a sore cystic pimple, buried deep in the dermis, never to emerge, begins to pulsate and redden. Ugh. While most acne is hormone related, there are things to do to lessen and prevent the super nasty ones. I do have prescription creams, that sometimes work, but not always. I have found a preventative skincare regime helps the most, along with clean(ish) eating. Yes I know – food isn’t supposed to cause acne, but when I fall of the healthy food wagon, and consume buckets of chips, chocolate and sugar sugar sugar, I am bound to have a breakout.

Vichy is one of my favourite skincare lines, for good reason. I use my Vichy LiftActiv Serum 10 every day, twice a day, but when my skin is freaking out, Vichy has some great oily skin options. I really love them in the summer, when my skin is more likely to get sweaty and be exposed to the grit and grime of city air. So this is the perfect time for my Skinternvention, with the Vichy Normaderm line:

About Normaderm:

Skin care products for all types of imperfections: irregular texture, clogged pores and shine. Normaderm targets skin’s signs of sensitivity by thoroughly cleansing, hydrating and purifying it. To recreate beautiful and healthy skin, Normaderm targets more than just imperfections, without weakening the skin.

vichy normaderm deep purifying cleansing gel

Cleanse: The Normaderm Deep Purifying Cleanser is terrific for washing off the day – make up and oil are no match for this gentle yet effective cleanser.

vichy-normaderm-3-in-1-cleanser-exfoliant--mask-186190

For a more thorough treatment, try the Normaderm Tri-Activ Mask. A triple action mask that cleanses, exfoliates and mattifies, with clay, ”peeling” ingredients and a soothing agent.You can use it as a leave-on treatment mask, or lather it up as a cleanser. I love it for both.

Vichy-Normaderm-Purifying-Astringent-Toner-39663

Tone: I always use rosewater to tone my skin, but after a long day out and about, and a good coating of sunscreen on my skin, I want to soothe and treat it. Vichy Normaderm Purifying Astringent Toner has active ingredients with a purifying, antibacterial and gentle exfoliating effect. It feels soothing on the skin, too.

vichy-normaderm-hyaluspot

My favourite product in the Normaderm line is the Hyaluspot Targeted Fast Acting Care treatment. This is for when that nasty zit rears it’s ugly head.  Hyalupspot’s  “advanced formula with hyaluronic acid creates an invisible “bandage effect” on the surface to protect against external agents. Salicylic acid and LHA, recognised dermatological ingredients, act at the source of the imperfections.”. In plain language, it helps soothe and treat the pimple so it clears up faster.Imperfections disappear faster without leaving a mark nor a scar. Who doesn’t want that?

If your skin is being challenged by oiliness and breakouts, I recommend giving the Vichy Normaderm line a try. Gentle AND effective.

 

 

In Canada, Vichy is available at drugstores. US shoppers can get it online.

No socks? Open toes? Time For Pretty Feet

No socks? Open toes? Time For Pretty Feet

I have a foot thing. I want them to be pretty and/or groomed. That’s all. It’s not hard to do, and the rest of the world will thank you. There is no need to be uber high maintenace – trust me, for a beauty obsessive, I am probably the laziest around. It’s not about the amount of work one puts into their beauty regime, it’s about quality grooming, and this applies to our feet as well.

Clockwise from top right: Diamoncel Foot File, Karin Herzog Oxygen Foot Cream, Lac Hydrin & Body Shop Foot File

Clockwise from top right: Diamoncel Foot File, Karin Herzog Oxygen Foot Cream, Lac Hydrin & Body Shop Foot File

Soft feet:

Easy to do – really. Get a foot sander and use it. You can get one for under $10 at The Body Shop, or for around $50 from Sephora. Just get one. They are best used after the bath or a shower, when the skin on the feet is softened. Put a towel under your foot and go to town! You can do this monthly, or bi-weekly if you have a lot of dead skin. Just file away until the crusty dead skin is gone. Another necessity for soft feet is an exfoliating lotion, usually with AHAs or acids of some kind. The best one I have found is at the drugstore and Walmart – Lac Hydrin. It has 12% lactic acid, which removes dead dry skin, and is also perfect for weekly or bi-weekly use. Nightly, and before I wear sandals or shoes that put my feet on display, I use Karin Herzog’s Foot Cream – it has a cooling, moisturizing and slightly antiseptic effect, and will keep your feet at their prettiest!

Pretty feet:

Of course, this is where I tell you that you need a pedicure. Because you do. Even if you don’t go full glam with shiny glossy red toenails, you must do something. I am a DIYer when it comes to my mani -pedis because I am a control freak and no one can do them as well I think I can. Also, it’s easy. Before you take a shower, apply your Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover – everyone should have this in their nail care arsenal. In the shower, use a nail brush and scrub those toes until they shine! Then, when you’ve sanded/exfoliated/moisturized, you can push back the cuticles on your toes for a pretty, groomed look.

Then, carefully shape your toenails. I prefer to file them, but if you have been bad and let them grow too long – if so, tsk tsk, no one wants to see that – then you may have to clip them. Be careful not to go too short, as that can cause ingrown toenails. After you have your desired shape, buff your toenails lightly. For those of you that eschew nail polish, you can stop here, or even apply a coat of clear polish for shine. Your feet will look clean and neat, and that is a good thing.

Clockwise from top right: Guerlain Stardust, OPI Moon Over Mumbai, Chanel Frisson, Lippmann Whatever Lola Wants

Clockwise from top right: Guerlain Stardust, OPI Moon Over Mumbai, Chanel Frisson, Lippmann Whatever Lola Wants

At this point, we choose our colour. I love drop dead reds and brights on my toes as much as anyone, but know this – if you apply a bright/deep/opaque shade to your toes, you have an obligation to maintain! The richer shades will show wear before a pale or soft shade. Chipped and rough looking pedicures are awful – I’d prefer bare toenails to an awful pedicure. Due to my laziness and desire to only see pretty things, I prefer soft shades on my toes. My personal preference is for shimmery and pearly shades. They are easy to apply, last for ages, don’t show wear and compliment almost every skin tone.

And, last but not least, you must take the Open Toe Shoe Pledge. Say it with me:

The Open Toe Shoe Pledge

The Open Toe Shoe Pledge

 

Bare feet gold sandals pedicure

Fancy gold sandals, & my little Aries ram tattoo!