dry skin

Miracle 10 for Acne Prone/Oily Skin

Whether it is uneven skin tone, wrinkles, breakouts, or dryness, we’re all looking for a miracle when it comes to our skin.  More recently, I’ve been facing my own struggle with acne.  So, when Miracle 10 reached out to me, asking if I’d like to review their kit for acne-prone skin, I couldn’t have been more excited and optimistic.  The kit includes 5 products: a cleanser, solution, serum, AHA gel, and veil, all specially formulated for oily, acne-prone skin.  But the benefits go far beyond just blemishes and oiliness; they also helps with hyperpigmentation and scarring, minimizing pores, and fighting signs of aging.  So why Miracle “10″, you ask?  Because the brand is confident that you’ll see real results quickly: an increase in smoothness and clarity in just 10 hours, a decrease of discoloration and dullness in 10 days, and a lessened appearance of wrinkles and pore size in 10 weeks. There are also products and sets specially formulated for Normal/Maturing Skin, and Delicate/Dry Skin.  Keep reading to learn more about my experience and personal results, and also, to get a sneak peak of an upcoming Instagram giveaway!

The Products:

Cleanser II:

This cleanser leaves my skin feeling smooth and clean, without any residue.  Antioxidants deep clean and exfoliate skin without any irritation (thanks to its pH balanced formulation).  This product is used morning and night.

Solution I:

To be honest, I’ve never really used toners (they tend to irritate my skin).  But what I loved about this product is that, thanks to Glycolic and Lactic acids, it is more of an exfoliant (with pore-minimizing and antibacterial benefits) than a toner.  It leaves my skin feeling extra clean and balanced without any redness or irritation. This product is used morning and night.

Light Serum:

This is my favourite product of all.  It gives your skin the moisture it needs without being heavy or greasy.  Vitamins A, B, D3, E, and K replenish and balance your skin, and makeup applies beautifully overtop.  This product is used in the morning.

AHA Gel I:

Formulated with Glycolic and Salicylic acids, this gel helps resurface skin while also combating acne bacteria while you sleep.  The gel feels light and applies evenly, and a little bit goes a long way.  This product is used at night.

Veil:

This lightweight, oil-free moisturizer soothes and calms the skin while working to re-texture and reduce oily skin conditions.  This product is used at night.

My Experience and Results:

My favourite thing about all of these products is that they are super light-weight, which is something oily-skinned individuals such as myself really appreciate.  Every single step left my skin feeling calm, smooth, and clean.

Within just a few days, my skin’s texture and appearance had dramatically improved and my makeup was lasting longer throughout the day.  The scarring from previous acne was disappearing (I even stopped using a concealer!), and each morning I’d wake up to a face that was better than the day before (which I credit in part to the AHA Gel I; I love it!).  I also appreciate that each of the products applies evenly and easily, and you only need a small amount of product for your entire face.  I like that the packaging is simple and chic, and that most of the products have their own pump for easy application and reduced waste of product.

All in all, these products truly are impressive.  They are high-quality, made of effective ingredients, and are part of a foolproof system tailored to your skin type.  They are all fragrance-free, paraben-free, not tested on animals, and made in Canada, and are developed by skincare experts themselves: The Plastic Surgery Clinic, which specializes in non-surgical skincare. There’s a reason why these products are raved about in magazines, on TV, and beyond!  If you’re curious about learning more, or want to determine your own skin type, simply visit miracle10.com, or visit a Miracle 10 boutique if you’re in the greater Toronto area.  And don’t forget to sign up for emails to get 15% off your first order!

The Giveaway:

Miracle 10 has generously offered to provide one of you with your very own travel kit customized to your skin type (a $135.00 value)!  This giveaway will be hosted on my Instagram account in the coming days, and will be open to Canadian residents (excluding Quebec). Stay tuned!

*The products in this post were provided by Miracle 10.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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January 2016 Favourites

There are many great things about Winter (personally, I can’t name any but Christmas), but with it tends to come dry and dull skin, frizzy hair, and hands you want to hide in your gloves.  My January favourites happen to be products that help with all of these problems (plus a little glitz).  Let’s get to it!

1. Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer

I received a sample of this primer a few months ago, and didn’t start using it until recently.  With all the acne products I’ve been using, there have been days where my skin just needs some serious moisture (dry skin + makeup = not fun).  It applies more like a moisturizer, with a yummy, coconut scent.  As someone who has very oily skin, I typically go for a primer that will mattify.  But what I love about this primer is that it gives you a soft, dewy finish without the oil and shine.  It absorbed quickly on my skin and makeup applied easily over top.  This primer is silicone free (a common allergen), cruelty-free, and vegan friendly.

2. Jergens Shea Butter Deep Conditioning Moisturizer

While I typically tend to choose a moisturizer more based on scent than anything, this Winter I’ve been more focused on finding a high-quality product that soothes dryness and lasts all day long.  This moisturizer by Jergens does just that.  It’s got a soft, clean scent, a rich and luxurious consistency, and applies evenly.  I wasn’t sure it would live up to its claim of leaving skin more radiant, but it honestly does.  It leaves my skin with a dewy sheen, but dries quickly.

3. Tangle Teezer The Original Detangling Hairbrush

This brush is as fun to use as it looks.  On wet or dry hair, the soft, flexible bristles gently fight tangles while fitting perfectly into your hand (thanks to its ergonomic shape).  You can even bring it with you in the shower to comb through your conditioner or hair mask.  Because it requires less pulling or tugging than a normal hairbrush, you’ll notice less breakage and increased shine.  Even better? It comes in a variety of colour combinations.  Which one will you choose?

4. Olive and Piper Floret Crystal Studs

I promised glitz, didn’t I?  I received these earrings in my gift bag at the Spark Sessions blogger conference late last year, and have worn them countless time since.  I love that they have a vintage-inspired look, and that they dress up nearly any outfit.  I’ve paired mine with sweaters, dresses, even a leather jacket…I just can’t get enough!

5. FarmHouse Fresh Marshmallow Melt Shea Butter Hand Cream

This hand cream smells good enough to eat (even my boyfriend asked “what is that?”).  But aside from it smelling amazing, it’s also seriously effective, leaving my hands soft and easing any itchiness or dryness (I love applying this at night before bed).  You can purchase this cream in-store at Blossom Lounge in Toronto’s Distillery District (or online), and can choose from a variety of (adorably named) scents including “Fluffy Bunny” and “Front Porch Punch”.  The compact 2.4 oz size means you can keep one in your purse, your car, your bedside, and beyond!

What have you been loving for the month of January?  Let me know in the comments below! 

5 Products to Help Heal and Hide a Breakout

Breakout Survival Kit

First off, happy New Year!  I hope you all had a wonderful and relaxing holiday season.  My holidays were filled with lots of food, fun, and family activities, and unfortunately, a breakout that proved trying on my nerves and emotions.  I’d struggled with acne for a few years in my late teens and early twenties, but have been lucky enough to have it under control for the past 5 years or so.  In early November of last year, my skin went crazy.  After changing all of my makeup, skincare, laundry detergent, even pillows, I finally came to the realization that it was likely a hormonal breakout (lucky me).  Let’s face it (pun intended): acne is not fun, but the good news is that there are some amazing products out there that can help you treat, heal, and hide your breakouts.  Today, I want to share with you 5 of the products that have helped me out these past few months; ones that I’m super happy to have found and will continue to use long after I’ve broken up with my breakout.

1. Neutrogena Naturals Acne Foaming Scrub

What I love about this scrub is that it’s gentle but effective.  Naturally derived salicylic acid treats your breakout while also exfoliating by removing dirt, oil, and dead skin.  When you have a breakout, you’ll want to resist the urge to use harsh, grainy exfoliants which will only irritate and inflame your skin.  This cleanser leaves my skin feeling fresh, clean, and calm.  Aside from a few ingredients to help maintain freshness, it is 93% naturally derived, meaning it won’t harm the environment on the way down the drain, either.

2. Vichy Normaderm Tri-Activ Mask

While you can use this product daily as an exfoliating cleanser, my preference is to use it as a mask (1-2 times per week).  Clay, glycolic acid, and salicylic acid create a “peeling effect” on your skin to help with uneven texture, acne, dilated pores, and excess oil (results that last up to 3 days!).  Simply apply the product to cleansed skin, leave on for 5 minutes, and then rinse with warm water, moving your fingertips in circular motions to help further exfoliate the skin.  Oh, and don’t attempt to carry on any serious conversations during the 5 minute drying time: this mask seriously dries and hardens (which is actually really fun to experience).  A soothing agent avoids any dryness or discomfort once the mask is removed, and it is hypoallergenic and safe for sensitive skin.

3. Dermalogica Hydrablur Primer

I was lucky enough to receive samples of this product during the most recent Spark Sessions blogger conference, and haven’t looked back since.  Whether you have acne or not, this product is impressive (for all skin conditions).  Hydrablur locks in moisture (thanks to Abyssinian Seed Oil), decreases the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, reduces the appearance of pores (courtesy of Mushroom Extract), mattifies, and enhances skin’s radiance (Wu-Zhu-Yu Fruit Extract boots microcirculation).  Essentially, it creates a soft blurring effect on your skin helping to hide imperfections, while also helping skin look and feel moisturized throughout the day.  You can pair this primer with your favourite foundation, or, thanks to micro-encapsulated tint, you can also wear it alone.  It’s lightweight, non-greasy, and really does create the perfect canvas for makeup application.  Because of all these amazing benefits, this product has proved especially helpful in covering up acne and other imperfections.

4. Vichy Dermablend Corrective Fluid Foundation

This foundation has become one of my all-time favourites.  I went to Shoppers Drug Mart in search of a high-coverage foundation (my exact words: “I’d like the highest coverage humanly possible”), and was recommended this product by the Beauty Boutique representative.  Note: new packaging means you might find it as Dermafinish instead of Dermablend.  This foundation is extremely lightweight, but provides impressive, full coverage (so much so, that you might not even need a concealer).  It boasts an impressive 16 hour wear, has SPF 30, and is non-drying.  It’s hypoallergenic, allergy tested, and is safe for sensitive skin.  I wear the shade 25 Nude and like to apply this product with my fingers.  I apply a base coat first, and if needed, go over any visible imperfections with a second layer.  Highly recommend!

5. Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer

Until recently when my breakout started, I wasn’t able to fully appreciate the coverage abilities of this product.  It applies evenly, is non-drying (in fact it moisturizes the skin), and builds from medium to full coverage.  I pair mine (in the shade “Custard”) over top of the foundation above, and they blend perfectly.  This concealer is also effective at covering dark circles, hiding fine lines and wrinkles, and reducing redness.  Perfect for all skin types and in a range of 10 shades, there’s a reason why it’s a blogger, vlogger, and makeup artist favourite!

Have you tried any of these products? Are there other must-have products that help you with breakouts?  Let me know in the comments below! 

Review: Aveeno Fresh Essentials (and Giveaway!)

Aveeno2

Having experienced one of the coldest Canadian winters yet, and with Spring just a month (or so) away, I couldn’t imagine a better set of products to review than Aveeno’s Fresh Essentials line.  With its gorgeous floral packaging and equally beautiful scent, these products are essentially Spring in a bottle.

I was given the opportunity* to test out three products from this line: the Daily Exfoliating Scrub, the Night Cream, and the Daily Moisturizer SPF 30.  All of them are oil free, hypoallergenic, and non-comedogenic (i.e.: they won’t clog your pores).  The concept behind the Fresh Essentials line is that it harnesses the power of Southernwood extract (a natural antioxidant) and vitamins A, C, and E, to keep the “good” in (moisture), and the “bad” out (drying environmental factors), therefore leaving the skin looking and feeling refreshed and radiant.

The Daily Exfoliating Scrub (145ml Tube, $9.97-$12.99 CAD)

Let’s start with my personal favourite, the scrub.  This product is, by far, one of the best facial scrubs I’ve ever used.  The exfoliating formula (with natural luffa and coconut pulp) is gentle but extremely effective: you can feel smoother skin instantly.  The product rinses off easily, turning into a silky cleanser which leaves no greasy residue.  It prepares your skin for moisturizer (and allows it to be more effective), and even helps makeup apply more evenly. What I also love?  A little bit goes a long way (I only use a dime-size amount of product for my entire face), so you’re getting great value for money.

The Night Cream (49ml Jar, $16.97-$19.99 CAD)

To be honest, I’d never used a night cream before trying this product.  For some reason, I always assumed that my daytime moisturizer was “good enough”. I was wrong.  I applied this product at night, (after using the scrub), and loved that it applied smoothly, evenly, and wasn’t greasy.  As someone who struggles from the occasional bout of acne, I’ll admit I was a little worried that using a thicker night cream would cause me to break out, but it actually helped clear my skin up!  Instantly, my skin felt and looked moisturized, and this lasted all through the night and into the next morning thanks to a blend of vitamins and antioxidants that replenish your skin’s moisture barrier while you sleep.

The Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 (74ml Bottle, $16.97-$19.99 CAD)

The first reason I love this product is that it has SPF 30.  As someone who burns easily, I love that this product works double-duty as a moisturizer and as a protector from the sun’s harmful rays.  I also love that it comes with a pump for easy use and application.  It applies and wears beautifully, leaving skin looking and feeling soft and smooth thanks to conditioning emollients that replenish moisture to the skin, and strengthen its moisture barrier.  I especially enjoy that this product has such a “light” feel when applied, allowing it to wear nicely alone or under makeup.

Where to Buy?

I’m truly excited about the results I see and feel from using this line, and will definitely continue to use all three of these products.  Want to try them out for yourself?  You can purchase them at various grocery stores, drug stores, and mass merchandisers across Canada.

Giveaway!

I am excited to be giving away all three of these products to one lucky winner!

To enter:

  1. Head on over to my Instagram account (@elyse270) and follow me.
  2. Like and comment on this picture letting me know what your essentials are for looking and feeling fresh (don’t forget to use the hashtag #FreshEssentials)!

This giveaway is open to Canadian residents only (must be 18 years of age or older to enter), and will run from March 1st-March 3rd at 9:00pm EST.  The winner will be announced on Instagram at 12:00pm EST on March 4th.

Good Luck!

*Product provided for consideration; all thoughts and opinions are genuine and my own.

WhatDidSheFind Gift Guide: Day Twenty-Seven

Holiday Gift Guide Day Twenty-Seven

Today’s gift is the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant, an award-winning product that is a serious multi-tasker, and a must-have for any woman’s makeup bag (men can use it too!).  Created in 1930 by Elizabeth Arden herself, she even used it to soothe her thoroughbred horses’ legs!  Some of the many uses for this product (for humans) are:

-Moisturize dry hands and feet.

-Soothe chapped lips.

-Use as in in-flight moisturizer to prevent dry skin.

-Calm sunburns.

-Comfort minor scrapes and skin abrasions.

-Condition cuticles.

-Shape eyebrows.

-Add shine to legs, cheeks, and lips (you know that “glossy eyelid” look you find in magazines?  Many makeup artists use this product to achieve the look!).

-Calm skin post-wax or shave.

You can purchase this product in both the original and unscented formulas for around $25.00 CDN at Shoppers Drug Mart and The Bay.

Previous Days:

Day One, Day Two, Day Three, Day Four, Day Five, Day Six, Day Seven, Day Eight, Day Nine,Day Ten, Day Eleven, Day Twelve, Day Thirteen, Day Fourteen, Day Fifteen, Day Sixteen, Day Seventeen, Day Eighteen, Day Nineteen, Day Twenty, Day Twenty-One, Day Twenty-Two, Day Twenty-Three, Day Twenty-Four, Day Twenty-Five, Day Twenty-Six