skincare

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.
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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. 

Farmacy Lip Blooms: Natural Ingredients for Soft, Smooth Lips

A good lip balm is hard to find.  You want something that moisturizes and protects your lips, but also one that looks and feels nice (and if it can double as a lipstick or gloss, even better!).  Personally, I use lip balms around the clock: before bed to moisturize overnight, in the morning to prep my lips for lipstick, and during the day to revive my lip colour.

I was presented with the opportunity to review Farmacy Beauty’s Lip Bloom in “Lavender Mint”, and was excited to give it a try.  I’ve seen their products at Sephora, and have heard great things about their skincare made from farm-grown, hand-picked ingredients.  Their trademarked ingredient (and one that can be found in their Lip Blooms) is Echinacea GreenEnvy (a variant of Echinacea Purpurea), which is a natural antioxidant that helps protect and firm the skin, and inhibit collagen breakdown.  In fact, the Echinacea GreenEnvy is cultivated in upstate New York and travels only 2 hours to the Farmacy lab, where it is then cold-pressed.  Farmacy’s Lip Blooms also contain Castor Seed Oil and Sunflower Seed Oil for hydration, smoothness, and protection of the delicate skin on the lips.

So what do I think of the Lavender Mint Lip Bloom? Aside from the pretty (not overpowering) scent, what I love most about this product is its versatility.  You can wear it as a lip balm on its own, pair it over top of a lipstick for a glossy shine, or even wear it on the eyelids over top or underneath eye shadow for a high-fashion, dewy finish.  The packaging is simple, chic, and compact, making it perfect to throw in your purse or makeup bag.  It applies smoothly and evenly, is a nice (not sticky) consistency, and leaves lips feeling soft and moisturized.

Lip Blooms are available for purchase on the Farmacy Beauty website and also in-store and online at Sephora.  Other flavours include Strawberry Basil, Honey Ginger, Vanilla Mint, Citrus Lemongrass, and Apple Rosemary. Yum!

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

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

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.

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.