st. ives

Evening Skincare Routine

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It’s been awhile since I’ve shared my evening skincare routine, and admittedly it’s been awhile since I’ve been strict and diligent about it. But after this brutal winter, and a recent sunburn I knew it was time to get back to it. I’m turning over a new leaf and trying my best to take care of my skin. So here is my updated evening routine:

1. Makeup Remover: For makeup removing I’ve been loving The Body Shop’s Camomile Gentle Eye Make-up RemoverIt’s formulated for all skin types, including sensitive skin. My skin isn’t super sensitive but I’m always really careful around my eyes, and this gentle formula works really well. And it’s not oily, like a lot of other makeup removers out there that leave oily residue around my eyes that I feel the need to scrub off afterwards. It has a really relaxing light and fresh scent too. It’s always really important to remove your makeup. Please don’t forget.

2. Cleanse: I’ve been using two different cleanser lately. The first is Olay Foaming Face Wash for sensitive skin. I actually picked this one up by mistake thinking it was the Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser (which I love), but this one has been really great too. I’m not very picky about the brand that I use with my everyday cleanser, but I need it to be a foaming/sudsy cleanser in order to feel like I properly cleansed my face. When I’m travelling I always opt for a more travel-friendly package and for that I’ve been using The Body Shop’s Vitamin E Cream Cleanser. I know that I’ve been going on and on about the Vitamin E line, and this one is no exception. This one is super easy, no water necessary. Just smooth it on and remove it with cotton pads. Like all other Vitamin E products it leaves your skin feeling incredibly soft.

3. Exfoliate: For those days that I’ve been exfoliating (about 2-3 times a week) I’ve been using the St. Ives Green Tea Scrub. The oil-free formula actually helps clear breakouts and refreshes the skin. It feels great!! It’s important to exfoliate to remove impurities and dry/dead skin from your face, but make sure not to do it too often or you will damage the skin that is healthy. The great thing about St. Ives is that it’s hypoallergenic and formulated without parabens.

4. Tone: I always think that toning is an important step for daily skin care. For years I’ve been using Clinique Clarifying Lotion 2. It helps remove any dirt and greasy oils that the cleanser may have missed (although with the right cleanser that shouldn’t be a problem) and over time it helps revitalize skin’s natural renewal process. So skin looks healthy and renewed.

5. Moisturize: And of course the final, and most important step is to moisturize your face. I’ve been using Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel for years and I’ll probably never change it. But some days I also use a small amount of Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil for a deep and intense moisturizer. I’ve also been pretty strict lately when it comes to focusing on my eyes. I’m finding that the skin under my eyes is looking more and more worn and tired looking, so I use either Roc Hydra+ Anti-Fatigue or Origins GinZing Eye Creamwhich has recently become a non-negotiable staple in my evening skincare routine. Once in a while, for that final spritz of moisture, I’ve been using The Body Shop’s Vitamin E Face Mist  for an instantly refreshing moisture boost.

There are a ton of skincare products out there that I really want to try. So I will probably be mixing this up again soon. Of course I refuse to change up the good ones that have never steered my wrong such as the Clinique Clarifying Lotion, Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel, and the Origins GinZing Eye Cream. What evening skincare products do you love? Any good suggestions for a mask?

Post Workout Must Haves

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I’m not a gym junkie, I actually hate sweating. But just like many other girls I feel guilty when I don’t make it to the gym or get any form of exercise (I also can’t spell exercise without spellcheck). I’ve been trying my best lately. I swim, run on the treadmill, cycle on the stationary bike, and I started using our new xbox one as a workout tool – there are great workouts by some of the famous trainers on xbox live, as well as a really cool zumba game that I’ve been loving. But after the effort, and the pride in your accomplishment, no one wants to look like crap when they leave the gym, or suffer from breakouts due to their sweaty skin later. Over the last little while I’ve be able to pick out what works for me and doesn’t as a quick fix and preemptive blemish control before I leave the gym.

First to take off those stinky shoes and shower, whether you’re at the gym or at home don’t wait too long. The quicker you wash off all that sweat the safer you are from future breakouts. I like to scrub both my face and my body with St. Ives Green Tea Blemish Control Scrub. It’s not too abrasive so it’s good for every day use and works really well to clean deep down into your pores and get all that sweat and dirt out. The scrub is hypoallergenic, oil-free and is formulated without parabens and contains salicylic acid.  Green tea is great for reducing redness too. Next is to fix the hair. Usually I’m not going anywhere after the gym, just home. But I never like to leave my wet hair to dry naturally without any products in it. So I just use a simple mousse, and I just use a little. There is nothing worse than having crunchy hair from mousse. I like the Dove Curl and Sculpt Styling Mousse, a really light-weight mousse that does the job of curling my hair and fighting the frizz, and is a much cheaper alternative than the usual styling products I reach for when I’m letting my hair dry naturally.

Next, just a tiny bit of simple face coverage. No need to go all out. A simple powder foundation does the trick. I like Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Ultra Smooth Pressed Powder in Medium 03. The powder is such a smooth and simple coverage that I love so much. It’s so easy. Some of those ‘makeup-less’ days at work feature a little swipe of this across the face. After the post-gym flush is gone from my face the only thing left is a little mascara, of course using my trusty Covergirl Lashblast Clump Crusher and a little lip moisture such as the Vaseline Rosy Lips, a little moisture and colour all in one. After a quick spritz of a body spray such as Bath and Body Works Black Amethyst then I’m good to go. Feeling refreshed, clean, properly put back together, and glowing from my post-gym workout high!

So keep at it my gym-hating friends. The more you push yourself the more satisfying and relaxing that face scrub will feel afterwards….at least thats what I keep telling myself.

What do you like using after the gym? Any suggestions?

Top 5 – January

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Once again, another blustery winter month has come and gone. This month in particular has been  filled with early mornings, late nights, and long busy days with not enough hours of sunlight. Besides last weekend’s day of dress up for my work party, this month has seen a record breaking number of makeup-less days. But lets see what products I’ve been loving this month.

1. Got2B Beach Trippin’ Salt-Infusion Waving Spray: I’ve had this guy within my pile of hair products for awhile now. Since I’ve been doing nothing but early mornings this month I haven’t been using my regular hair products. I couldn’t be bothered with actually properly styling my hair. A spray is so easy, literally just a few spritz’s through the hair. The product leaves my hair wavy, not it’s regular curl. But I find that I don’t get the fuzzy dry look that a lot of other sprays create. I’m not a big fan of the fact that the product has salt in it, seeing as it’s adding to the dryness of my hair, but I like the outcome of the product enough to overlook the salt.

2. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel: I’ve definitely talked about this one before. This is my favourite moisturizer out there, and I’ve recently suggested it to quite a few people who are looking for some better dry-skin relief this winter. The moisturizer comes in two different types: an oil based moisturizer, or this gel which is oil-free. Both of which have the same moisturizing outcome, one just being more friendly for those with oily skin. I have switched to other moisturizers in the past but always come back to this one. It’s the best out there.

3. Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Makeup: I acquired this piece more recently upon a suggestion of Sandra’s (@ travelwithscarves). I use it under my eyes after applying my foundation and before applying my setting powder. I’ve used concealers and under-eye correctors before to no avail, but this product does an amazing job. Perfect match to my skin, and such a great price. I’ve spent up to $40 on concealers before that aren’t even close to this one. It’s so nice to finally find something to hide my dark, patchy, sleep deprived eyes.

4. Gold Bond Ultimate Intensive Healing Hand Cream: I mentioned this hand cream in my “Handy Tips for Cold Weather” post (read it here). I bought this hand cream at target while I was on a work assignment in the states in December – my hands were incredibly dry, cracked and sore. My hands have been even worse lately (today being the most painful yet), but I think that this product has been slowly helping to heal my damaged hands. It’s not greasy and absorbs quickly so I’ve been using it often – the jury is still out as to whether or not it is properly healing my hands. This winter has been brutal…I’ve never felt anything like this.

5. St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Exfoliating Scrub: This is the second time that this exfoliating scrub has been featured on a Monthly Top 5 post – making an appearance in November 2013 as well. These cold months and dry skin need a little extra help and this exfoliator has done a great job. It smells amazing. But like I said before it’s probably a little too rough on the skin for everyday use, so I like to use it about twice a week.

Hopefully these products can get me through the rest of this month. I’m so sick of this winter and can’t wait for spring! I’m already dreaming about the weather, the colours, the flowers, the clothes, the shoes, the pink lipsticks…..sigh.

What have you liked this month? Are you surviving this weather? If you’re not in Canada….lucky you!