scrub

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! 

January/February Favourites!

Jan-Feb 2015 Faves

I can barely fathom that it’s already March…where did January and February go?!  Wherever it went, it did leave me with some awesome new favourites to share with you.  Let’s get started!

1. American Eagle AEO Soft & Sexy Jegging V-Neck T-Shirt

I know what you’re thinking: Elyse, a t-shirt is a t-shirt.  But trust me, these shirts are perfection.  Part of AE’s new collection, these tees are the perfect length, are extremely soft and silky, are tagless, and come out good-as-new when washing.  I purchased my v-neck in black, (they are available in other colours), and the “Soft & Sexy” line also includes other styles (muscle tees, baseball tees, zip ups, and more!).

2. Arm & Hammer Pro Sensitive Whitening Toothpaste

For me, a good toothpaste is hard to find.  Sometimes I don’t like the texture, sometimes I don’t care for the taste, and sometimes I’m just not happy with the results. But for me, this toothpaste has it all: sensitivity protection, whitening, and a great “clean” feeling after you use it.  I’m especially impressed with its whitening ability, and noticed a significant difference after just a few days of use.

3. Tetley Chai Tea

I tried this tea after I found it in my pantry on a day when my go-to, Orange Pekoe, had run out.  When it comes to home-brewed tea, this is definitely one of my new front-runners.  A combination of, “cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, star anise and cloves”, I find it to be extremely smooth tasting and aromatic (just smelling it calms me down at the end of the day).

4. MAC Cosmetics Lip Pencil in “Hip ‘n’ Happy”

Lip pencils have become one of my favourite beauty products as of late (check out my Valentine’s day post here).  I was introduced to this MAC classic when I went to pick up the new Viva Glam Miley Cyrus Lipstick and Tinted Lipglass.  The makeup artist at the MAC counter was wearing a gorgeous colour on her lips, and she informed me that it was actually this lip pencil underneath the Miley lipglass.  She had received so many compliments on her lip combo, that her store at the mall (and the MAC counter in The Bay) were all sold out.  So, three MAC counters later, I now own and love this lip pencil.  Wear it on its own, with a lipstick, or under a gloss.  Any which way, you’re sure to love it too!

5. Aldo Accessories “Olaoviel” Necklace

Aldo Accessories is one of my favourite stores, and I frequent it often to check out their sale section (usually buy one, get one free).  This fun statement necklace, made of multifaceted black rings woven into braided black fabric, is perfect for jazzing up the neckline of a simple crew neck tee (or LBD).

6. Aveeno Fresh Essentials Daily Exfoliating Scrub

I’ve already raved about this product in my previous post: a review of the Aveeno Fresh Essentials line.  So to summarize, this scrub: a) smells amazing, b) feels awesome on your skin, and c) works like a charm.  Highly recommend!

  “Spring is when life’s alive in everything” ~Christina Rossetti

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.