Vichy

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! 

L’Oreal Private Sale: My Experience

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As L’Oreal is one of my favLoreal ticketourite drugstore cosmetic lines, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to visit their annual Fall private sale (I was able to get tickets through my employer).  I have visited this sale in previous years, and it’s a great opportunity to stock up on all your favourites and essentials.  The sale wasn’t just for L’Oreal products, but also included brands such as Maybelline, Yves Saint Laurent, Biotherm, Diesel, Lancôme, Vichy, Essie, Garnier, and more.  There were some great deals to be had, but I did find that the prices have gone up a smidge since the last visit.  Getting in does require a ticket, however one pass gains entry for 2 people (so if you know someone with a ticket, you can be their guest!). Or, you can find them fairly easily on Kijiji.

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When I first arrived, the small parking lot was absolutely packed, and I was directed by security to park at a church down the road.  Luckily, there was a shuttle bus to take you to and from the sale (which ran every 5 minutes or so).  You walk through the door, your ticket is scanned, and you instantly are overwhelmed by row after row of products and goodies.  The first aisle was mostly shampoos, conditioners and hair products, followed by aisles full of nail polishes, and cosmetics (mostly foundations, blushes, eye shadows, lipsticks, and liners).  The following rows also had various gift packages (the kind you get with your purchase at department stores, or the value sets you see during the holidays).  I’ll be sure to list some of my best deals down below.  In the meantime, here are some pictures of the venue.

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My Haul, and Some of the Best Deals:

Loreal haul

I definitely got some great deals at sale, but as you can see from the picture above, I was also pretty strong.  My cart before I got to the checkout was topped full with face creams, eye shadows and gift sets, but one really important thing to remember at sale like this, is that you don’t need everything.  It’s so easy to get overwhelmed by all the deals and hype, that you end up spending more than you planned, and go home with things that just sit in your closet until they expire.  One feature at the sale that proved to be really helpful was a lineup of tables near the checkout that let you sort through all the things you had thrown in your cart along the way.  You leave all the items you aren’t purchasing on the table, and then one of the staff collects it and puts it all back for you.  I found myself grabbing products I already owned (to have for when they ran out), or products that were a great deal (just because they were a “great deal”).  It helped to have a place near the check out to slow down, think each product through, and determine if I really needed it, or if I was just impulse purchasing.  Here are some of the goodies I’m most excited about:loreal 6

L’Oreal Elnett Satin Hairspray– $4.00 (Regularly $15.00)

L’Oreal True Match Foundation-$6.50 (Regularly $18.00)

L’Oreal Colour Riche Lipstick-$2.50 (Regularly $11.00)

L’Oreal Infallible Eye Shadow– $4.50 (Regularly $11.00)

Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo-$3.75 (Regularly $9.00)

L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara– $4.75 (Regularly $13.00)

Lancôme Color Design All-In-One 5 Shadow and Liner Palette- $14.75 (Regularly $54.00)

In total, I spent about 2 hours and less than one hundred dollars at the sale, and walked away with well over a $200.00 value in products (FYI: the max you are allowed to spend in one visit is $600.00).  It was a positive experience, and I encourage anyone who has the opportunity to go to take advantage of it.  Just be prepared to wait in a few lineups along the way (some products are stored behind counters so you need to ask for what you want), and an even bigger lineup at the checkout (though they do have many cash registers so it moves fairly quickly).  Stay strong, buy only what you need, and have fun!

“Buy Less, Choose Well.” ~Vivienne Westwood