skin

Spring Favourites

With just a couple more weeks of Spring left (helloooo Summer!), I wanted to share some of the products I’ve been loving for the past few months.  Let’s get started!

1. Beauty With a Twist Daily Shampoo and Conditioner*

Created in 2013 by celebrity stylist Oliver Ifergan in an effort to capture the essence of the California lifestyle (palm trees, sandy beaches…basically everything I dream about), Beauty With a Twist’s products are formulated with only the highest quality, certified-organic ingredients.  Their products are not tested on animals, and a portion of their sales are donated to The Beagle Freedom Project to help end animal cruelty.  Their Daily Shampoo and Conditioner smell amazing, (notes of coconut and soft peach), and leave hair feeling soft and moisturized.  Both are formulated without parabens and are sulfate-free, ensuring they protect and preserve colour treated hair.  Beauty With a Twist products can be purchased in Canada exclusively on Amazon.ca.

2. Sahajan Discovery Kit*

This Discovery Kit is like an adult goodie-bag full of nourishing treatments for your face, body, and hair.  All of Sahajan’s products are natural and organic, and are developed and made in Canada (Toronto to be exact!) with eco-friendly and sustainable practices.  This kit is the perfect way to test out some of Sahajan’s products and includes: Nourish Face Cream, Restorative Eye Cream, Protective Face Serum, Nurture Hair Oil, and Ritual Body Oil (plus a handy linen makeup bag and a natural-wood mirror).  All of the products in this kit are impressive; they are nourishing, lightweight, and smell beautiful.  If I had to choose just one favourite (and trust me, it’s hard), it would have to be the Restorative Eye Cream.  A good eye cream is hard to find, and this one left the skin under my eyes feeling soft and moisturized, and looking brighter.  You can purchase this Discovery Kit, or the individual Sahajan products at Toronto’s Blossom Lounge.

3. Skechers Flex Appeal Sneakers in “Floral Bloom”

For me, these sneakers were love at first sight (um, hello, do you see those flamingos!?).  Not only are they bright, adorable, and perfect for Summer, they are also extremely comfortable, thanks to their memory foam insoles and stretch mesh panels.  They are light-weight (a women’s size 7 is just 6oz!) and are super flexible, allowing them to bend and flex naturally with your feet.

4. NYX Lip Lingerie in “Corset”

After reading positive reviews about this colour and formula online, I decided to give it a try.  This product is a matte liquid lipstick with a griege-ish tone.  It is long-lasting, and, as is commonplace for the NYX brand, is affordable without compromising on quality. If you’re looking for a super-unique yet wearable tone to add to your makeup collection, this is it.

5. Prada Candy Eau de Parfum

I’m one of those people who likes to switch up their scent on a daily basis, so it’s not often I find one that ends up on repeat.  I received a sample of this scent about a year ago, and brought it with me on a trip to Mexico.  Now, maybe it’s that every time I smell this scent I recall sandy beaches, warm breezes, and pina coladas, but since purchasing a full-sized version a couple of months ago, I still can’t get enough.  With notes of caramel, musk, and vanilla, this scent is soft and sweet with a nice warmth to it, just like a Summer night.

What have you been loving these past few months?  Let me know in the comments below!

Note: products indicated with an asterisk (*) were received for consideration.  All thoughts and opinions are honest and are my own.

For Skin that Glows, and Makeup that Lasts All Day: Farmacy Skin Dew

I recently reviewed one of Farmacy’s Lip Blooms, and was given the opportunity to test out another one of their products: Skin Dew, a hydrating essence mist and makeup setting spray.  The name alone sounds super luxurious, and a product like this is perfect for the hot summer months ahead.  As mentioned in my previous post, the foundation for all of Farmacy’s products is GreenEnvy, (a variant of Echinacea Purpurea), which is a natural antioxidant that protects, firms, and evens skin tone.  In addition to GreenEnvy, Skin Dew is also formulated with kiwi fruit extract (to improve the skin’s barrier function, and improve tone/pigmentation), glycerin (for hydration), Horsetail Juice (an antioxidant and skin-smoother), and a blend of essential oils (Rosemary, Peppermint, Bergamot) that act as a light astringent (and smell amazing!).

Skin Dew can be applied in the morning before or after moisturizing, or after applying makeup as a setting spray.  Because it creates a light veil over the skin, it prevents oil-migration, and is perfect for those who often find their makeup shifting on their face throughout the day (i.e. me!).  It can also be re-applied throughout the day to freshen skin and increase radiance, or to help touch-up makeup.  The sleek, frosted plastic packaging is beautiful and is compact enough (3.3 0z) to tuck in your purse or beach bag.  To use, simply hold the product 8 inches from your face and spray, starting at your forehead and working downward.

Free of artificial colors, formulated with natural ingredients, and not tested on animals, this product is one that is good for both the environment and your skin.  You can purchase this product on Farmacy Beauty’s website, or online/in-store at Sephora.

Have you tried Farmacy Beauty’s Skin Dew, or any of their other products?  Let me know in the comments below!

Note: Product received for testing purposes.  All thoughts and opinions are honest and are my own. 

Spa Day Essentials Featuring Blossom Lounge

With a long weekend just a couple of days away, it’s the perfect time to prepare for some rest and relaxation.  And hey, why not make your extra day off feel like one spent at the spa?  Today, I’m featuring 3 fun products to help you do just that.  All can be purchased at Blossom Lounge, located in Toronto’s Distillery District (I’ve featured them previously here and here). Be sure to follow them on social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) to stay up to date on new arrivals and more!

1. Graydon Clinical Luxury Superfood Mask + Scrub

This unique mask gently exfoliates and brightens skin, and is formulated with 19 superfoods (including papaya, matcha green tea, white willow bark, cinnamon, activated charcoal, and more!).  Each mask is individually portioned in a vegetable-derived capsule to ensure the product stays as fresh as possible, without oxidizing.  So how do you use it?  With clean, dry hands, simply break open a capsule (learn more here), mix it with your favourite creamy cleanser, soap, or face oil, and massage it into your skin.  Leave it on for as long as you’d like (try for at least 3-5 minutes), and then rinse off with water.  Repeat up to 3 times per week.  For an even more natural touch, try mixing the mask with ingredients such as full-fat yogurt, raw honey, coconut oil, or mashed avocado instead of your cleanser!

 2. Trust Fund Beauty Nail Polish in “Subtly Sassy”

This nail polish is the perfect everyday, cool-toned, nude (seriously, it matches everything).  But aside from being the perfect shade, it’s also an impressive, long-wearing polish: mine lasted a week with just a basic base and top coat.  The rich, creamy, 7-free formula only requires 1-2 coats, which, let’s be real, is a rarity in the light-toned, cream-polish world.  Another perk?  It’s also vegan and cruelty free.

 3. Coal and Canary Candle in “Gimme Some Sugar”

This candle’s unique notes of brown sugar, honey, yam, and vanilla, make it the perfect cozy-up-and-relax scent (and may also make you crave baked goods!).  Hand poured and made in small batches, these Canadian-made candles are created with only the highest quality soy/vegetable wax blends and fragrance oils.  The wooden wick burns cleanly (no smoke or soot here!) and provides a soothing crackle when lit. What I love most about the brand, aside from their unique scents, are their fun, catchy product names.  Some examples: “Good Beats & Eatin’ Sweets“, “Hiking Trails and Breaking Nails“, and “Peach Pies & Cute French Guys“.   Coal and Canary candles are 8 ounces each, and the burn time is an impressive 45-50 hours.

Which product are you most excited to try?  Let me know in the comments below!

*Products provided for consideration.  All thoughts and opinions are honest and are my own.  

February/March 2016 Favourites!

Happy Easter! It’s hard to believe that the end of March is already upon us, and Spring has finally arrived. Here are some of the things I’ve been loving for the past couple of months:

1. Yankee Candle Company Tumbler Candle in “Chocolate Layer Cake”

If you want your house to smell like the most delicious chocolate cake ever baked (who doesn’t?), this is for you.  It’s rich, decadent, and incredibly fragrant (you can smell it without even lighting it!).  I purchased this candle along with an adorable cake-stand holder (that I featured on Instagram here) for Valentine’s Day, but I plan on burning this candle through Easter and beyond.

2.  NYX Micro Brow Pencil in “Ash Brown”

I’ve mentioned my love for the Anastasia Brow Wiz in a previous favourites post, and it’s still one of my favourite brow products to date.  Late last year, I attended the grand opening of the NYX store in Square One Shopping Centre, and decided to try out their Micro Brow Pencil.  It’s very similar to the Brow Wiz in performance and design (one side is a thin retractable pencil, and the other is a spooley), but it’s a fraction of the cost at just $12.00 (Brow Wiz is $27.00)!

3. Physicians Formula Argan Wear Ultra-Nourishing Argan Oil Bronzer

I received this product in a gift bag during last year’s Spark Sessions conference and stored it away in my “products to try” drawer.  Recently, the life of my beloved Nars Bronzing Powder in “Laguna” came to an end, and I decided it was time to take this product for a test drive.  Truthfully, I was a little intimidated at first by the layer of gold shimmer on top (I’ve never been one for sparkle in my face makeup).  I simply took a tissue, and was relieved to discover it was simply a light layer on top of the product (for presentation purposes I’m assuming; it’s beautiful!). Once the gold sparkles were removed, the product applied beautifully and evenly, and created a subtle glow on the skin.  As the name suggests, this bronzer is actually infused with 100% Pure Argan Oil, which nourishes, conditions, and brightens skin.  It comes with a mirror and small brush, but I prefer to apply mine with a big, fluffy one.  You can purchase this product right now on Well.ca for just $13.99 (the Nars bronzer is $52.00)!

4. “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo

I don’t get to read as often as I’d like to (time: there’s just never enough of it!), but occasionally, I ‘ll find a book that sparks my interest and I’ll slowly make my way through it after work or before bed.  I’d seen this book in stores and on social media, but was curious to read it for myself after checking out an article on a mother who had implemented the practices of this book on her home.  It’s undeniable to me, how many things we (more specifically, I), own that we keep “just because”.  The premise of this book is that you should declutter your life, keeping only things that “spark joy”: that, when you hold them, make you truly happy.  It seems like such a simple, almost obvious, concept when it comes to cleaning, but it’s one that is so easily and commonly overlooked.  This book is a short, easy read that’s definitely worth checking out.

5. Marc Anthony Nourishing Argan Oil of Morocco 3 Day Smooth Perfect Blow Dry Smoothing Cream

Now, that is a mouthful!  Using the power of Argan Oil, this product promises to hold hair “straight, frizz-free and shiny for up to 3 days”.  I’ve never really been one to use a blow dry cream, but received a sample in my monthly Ipsy Glam Bag, and decided to give it a try.  I really do notice that my blowout lasts significantly longer when I use this product.  My hair stays smoother, has less fly-aways, and is easier to manage.  I simply apply it when my hair is damp, focusing mainly on the ends of my hair.  This product is made for all hair types, and, if your hair tends to be especially frizzy, you can even reapply to to dry hair on days 2 or 3 for touch-ups.

What have you been loving lately?  Let me know in the comments below!    

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.

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: Garnier Clean+ Makeup Removing Lotion Cleanser

Garnier

Aside from loving the feeling of a fresh, makeup-free face, one of the reasons I remove my makeup at night is because my eyes and skin are extremely sensitive (blemishes, dry spots, and eye irritations are not uncommon).  As many of you already know, finding the perfect cleanser or remover can be far from an easy task…until now, that is.  Enter Garnier Clean+ Makeup Removing Lotion Cleanser: a product that is extremely gentle, but impressively effective at dissolving all traces of makeup and impurities (including waterproof mascara!).  The formula is infused with the Moringa seed and plant extracts, and is fragrance, alcohol, dye, and oil free.  It is also dermatologist, allergy, and ophthalmologist tested, making it well-suited to sensitive skin.

I was given the opportunity* to test this product out, and was excited to see it work its magic.  The instructions state to apply the product directly to dry skin with your fingers and gently massage.  To remove, simply wipe away with a cotton pad, or rinse clean with water.  I first tested this product out on a day where I had on a full face of makeup (including waterproof mascara and eyeliner, and a lip stain).  Truthfully, I was a little skeptical that a lotion, especially an oil free one, would effectively be able to break down the long-wearing makeup formulas I had on that day. So, I applied as per the instructions on the bottle, gently massaging the lotion and focusing extra attention to my eye area.  I was especially excited when the “sting” in my eyes I normally get with other eye-makeup removers never came! I washed the product off with warm water, looked in the mirror, and my makeup was completely gone.  Even better, the product left my face feeling like I had just applied moisturizer: soft, calm, clean, and refreshed.  I also tried using this product with a cotton pad, as per the second recommended method, and found it worked just as well (see the picture below, where I removed waterproof liner and a lip stain from my hand).

A lip stain and waterproof liner are easily removed.

A lip stain and waterproof liner are easily removed.

Because this lotion works to remove not only makeup, but also the various impurities that collect on your skin, you are able to use it morning and night.  Additionally, you’ll continue to see and feel the benefits of using this product over time as you continue to use it (I did!).  I’m excited to have found this product, and consider it a permanent addition to my beauty regime.  I’d definitely recommend trying this product out…your skin (and eyes) will thank you (and don’t forget to let me know what you think in the comments below)!

*Product has been provided by Garnier Canada, the opinions and language are my own, and in no way do they reflect Garnier Canada.

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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.

New Year, New You: 2015

New Year New You 2015

Well, it’s here: 2015!  And, a new year means that it’s time for my “New Year, New You” series (check out last year’s here), where I take a few of the top new-year’s resolutions, and match them up with fun, new products that may even inspire you to hold true to your resolution past January!

1. Eat Healthier:

Just like working out, you somehow feel that much more motivated when you have some new gear to use. These new “LunchBlox” kits from Rubbermaid allow you to customize your lunch bag in a fun way (the containers snap together), while also allowing you to be mindful of portion-sizes (the individual containers have measurements on the sides). Need to keep your lunch cool? Just add a “Blue Ice” snap-in, and you’re good to go!  You can purchase starter kits, such as the one above, or individual containers to customize your lunch any way you please. The containers are microwave, dishwasher, and freezer safe, and have lids that seal securely.

2. Drink More Water:

So, I know, this one kind of goes along with “Eat Healthier”, but as an avid mug collector I couldn’t leave out the opportunity to include a fun water bottle! This “S’Well ‘Hers’ Shimmer Water Bottle” from Chapters/Indigo is not only adorable, it’s also made of double-walled aluminum, allowing you to keep your water nice and cool (or your tea nice and hot) for hours. It is also “virtually unbreakable”, and has a mouth-opening wide enough to add ice cubes.  Another thing I’m loving lately: adding a few squirts of Crystal Light Aloha Pineapple Coconut Liquid Drink Mix to my water (and then pretending I’m on a beach).    

3. Get More Sleep:

This resolution speaks not only to catching more hours of zzz’s, but also to getting a better quality sleep. I’ve learned from experience, that having a room lit up by 15 different electronic devices does not help your sleep situation. I’ve also learned that the blue light emitted from your phone actually tells your body to wake up, so those last-minute Twitter checks may be preventing you from falling to sleep sooner. I recently received one of these Bucky40 Blinks Sleep Masks” for Christmas, and was pleased to discover that they they block out light perfectly, and also have an adjustable strap so you can sleep comfortably (no headaches here!). Even better? They have deep eye-cups, so you don’t need to worry about messing up your eye makeup during mid-day naps (you can even use them to protect eyelash extensions)!

4. Workout More Often:

Remember what I said in the “Eat Healthier” section? New gear (a.k.a shopping)=motivation. It also helps when the gear itself has a fun motivational phrase on it, such as those from Blogilates. One of my favorites? This blueberry-coloured “Train Insane or Remain The Same” gym tank.  Other fun ones are the “Stronger Every Day” tank, and the “Sore Muscles Happy Pain” Y-tank. Don’t lie, you feel like hitting up the gym now, don’t you!?

5. Read More Books:

A simple solution to the “I don’t have time to read” excuse is Audible (because we all have time to listen, whether it’s while we’re commuting to work, while we’re cleaning the house, or while we’re lying in bed).  Audible offers a membership program, where $14.95/month gets you a credit for one audio book, plus 30% off additional books (and, should you choose to end your membership, you can keep all your audio books, no questions asked).  Sign up now to receive your first audio book free! Some of the books I’ve been loving lately? My Story by Elizabeth Smart and #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso.

6. Try Something New/ Treat Yourself:

While I purchased this late in 2014, I still consider my Clairsonic Mia 2 (in the colour “Joy”) to be “something new”.  It’s also something I’d been debating treating myself to for a few years.  After learning more about it during the Spark Sessions conference, I decided to take the plunge.  I was lucky enough to have little to no “purging” (basically, where your skin breaks out over the span of a few weeks as it cleans out your pores).  I use the sensitive brush daily, and then add in the deep pore brush 1-2 times a week.  I’ve definitely noticed a difference in the smoothness of my skin, and am excited to continue seeing results as time goes on.  I highly recommend trying out the Clarisonic, and with a 90-day 100% money back guarantee, what have you got to lose? Don’t forget to sign up at Clarisonic.ca for tips, tricks, and discounts!

“And now let us welcome the new year, full of things that have never been” ~Rainer Maria Rilke