Category Archives: Skincare

Skincare Saturday: Diving into Autumn with Live Clean + Giveaway!

Although we’ve also had some unseasonably warm temperatures in September and October, Toronto is *finally* starting to cool down and I can feel my heart singing with the cooler temperatures! (Seriously, summer begone! I’m done with you!)

With the cooler temps, it’s time to wrap ourselves in hydrating products and warm, refreshing scents, and what better way to do that than with products that are easily found at the drugstore, do their job well AND are inexpensive? Live Clean has you covered on all those angles!

This a roundup of some of Live Clean‘s most effective and best selling products that will help keep you clean, exfoliated and moisturized as we head into the drier months. Let’s dig in:

  • Exotic Nectar Argan Oil Restorative Shampoo and Conditioner: I don’t know what it is about this particular formula or scent, but I LOVE it. I’m not traditionally someone who likes the smell of argan oil – I generally find it too heavy and clingy in my nose. However, this particular shampoo and conditioner has none of that cloying scent I’ve come to dislike! I was also pleasantly surprised at how light my hair felt after using these products – because they’re labelled as moisturizing, that usually tends to weigh my hair down. Not the case at all!
  • As my hair grows longer and longer (I really only get it cut once a year), I find myself with a knotted mess after I’ve towel dried my hair. It’s a disaster when I try to run a comb through it, so a leave-in conditioner spray or detangler is a huge must. The Exotic Nectar Argan Oil Leave-in Conditioner Spray works like a charm and lets my brush glide through my hair as opposed to the usual “snag and tear” method that I usually resort to.
  • Let’s not forget your face though – get it all scrubbed up and exfoliated with the Fresh Face Smoothing Facial Scrub. I love, love, LOVE the texture on this one. Not too gritty, not too few scrubby bits and just the right feeling!
  • And when you need to get moisturized up before hitting the sack, slather on some Fresh Face Nourishing Night Cream which is blissfully not too thick and gunky and cover your body with the Coconut Milk Moisturizing Body Lotion (which, of course, smells freaking incredible).

Of course, there’s a lot to love about Live Clean aside from cute packaging and lovely scents! Their products are:

  • 98% plant and natural based ingredients
  • SLS and silicone free
  • Petrolatum, paraben and pthlatate free
  • DEA free
  • Phosphate free
  • Dye free
  • Vegetarian formulas
  • Never tested on animals
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Biodegradable ingredients
  • Packaging recyclable

That’s a lot of awesomeness wrapped into a product, isn’t it??

Live Clean Autumn Giveaway

The people at Live Clean are amazingly generous and often reach out about doing giveaways. I can never say no because their products are wonderful and I love spreading the word about the brand. One person will win the following:

  • Live Clean Argan Oil Restorative Shampoo
  • Live Clean Argan Oil Restorative Conditioner
  • Live Clean Exotic Nectar Argan Oil Leave-in Conditioner Spray
  • Live Clean Coconut Milk Moisturizing Body Lotion
  • Live Clean Fresh Face Smoothing Facial Scrub
  • Live Clean Fresh Face Nourishing Night Cream

Giveaway Rules

  • This giveaway is open to Canada only!
  • This giveaway starts on October 7, 2017 and runs for one week.
  • Please be aware that all entries will be double checked to ensure fairness.
  • One winner will win the Prize Pack pictured and described above
  • The winners will have 48 hours to respond to my e-mail. If they fail to respond within that time frame, I will pick another prize winner. (And so on.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Skincare Saturday: Lierac Skincare Review

Lierac Laboratories

Lierac is a brand I’d heard nothing about, but was pleased to find that they have an ENORMOUS skincare range with a lot of options for everyone. I was sent a ton of items from their Hydragenist range (for my dry-combination skin) to test out, and I’ve got some thoughts, so let’s dive in!

Lierac Laboratories - Morning Moisturizing Mist and Lait Micellaire
Lierac Laboratories – Morning Moisturizing Mist and Lait Micellaire

The first part in your morning skincare routine suggested by Lierac is using the Hydragenist Morning Moisturizing Mist ($45 CAD). The mist is intended to rehydrate and replump your skin (as is the whole range, really) once you’ve woken up. The idea behind it is that it can erase pillow marks while replumping your skin. I think that’s cute, but I’m not generally covered in pillow marks, so I couldn’t tell you if it removed them. What I can tell you is that this is one of the most uniquely textured face mists I’ve ever tried. It’s intensely hydrating, which I wasn’t expecting given that it’s a face mist. The texture of it is like a liquid gel – you spray it on your face and then you’ll need to massage it in. For me, while this ended up being a nice refresher in the morning, I didn’t love it as part of my morning routine (honestly, it was a bit TOO hydrating and I don’t feel the need to use it before my morning shower either), but I did love it later in the evening combined with something else (I’ll get to that later).

The next step was to use the Lait Micellaire ($29 CAD) to cleanse my face. While this does incorporate some makeup removal aspects, I’ve only ever used this as a face wash. And my face washes don’t need to remove my makeup as far as I’m concerned (I’ve got oils for that!) so I was really pleased with how gentle this felt on my skin. I’m a fan of milky cleansers anyway, and this Lait Micellaire combined with a konjac sponge was really, really nice at scrubbing away the sleepies on my face in the morning.

Lierac Laboratories - Lotion Gélifiée, Hydragenist Moisturizing Cream and Moisturizing Serum
Lierac Laboratories – Lotion Gélifiée, Hydragenist Moisturizing Cream and Moisturizing Serum

With my butt out of the shower, it’s time to keep going with the other aspects of getting my skin prepped and ready for makeup.

The Lotion Gélifiée (which is your toner) is very similar in texture to the Morning Moisturizing Mist, only slightly thicker overall. I started out by applying it to a cotton round to apply to my face… but gave up on that quickly once I realized the texture was more akin to a serum than a toner. Overall, this one isn’t one of the products I’m that enamoured with. It goes on okay-ish, but I felt like it did more to dry out my skin than hydrate it. Which kind of makes sense given that this product is intended to tighten your pores.

You can, however, skip the Lotion and go straight to the Hydragenist Moisturizing Serum, which I felt was better for my skin overall. This felt like a dream on my skin – quite relaxing and smoothing. Personally, if you’re picking and choosing from this range,  I’d opt for the Serum over the Lotion!

The last step is, of course, moisturizer. And I gotta say, the Hydragenist Moisturizing Cream ($70 CAD) is no freaking joke. This cream is targeted towards people with dry to very dry skin so you know it’s going to be extra hydrating. For me though, this was too much in the mornings. It’s a LOVELY cream and it does the job, but for my dry to combination skin this was overkill in the mornings. I instead opted to wearing this at night alongside the Moisturizing Mist. I’d squirt a few pumps of the mist onto my face at night, massage it in, and then follow it up with the Moisturizing Cream and wear it as an overnight face mask. I think this’ll work for EXCEPTIONALLY dehydrated skin on a day to day basis, but for me this was something that was a tad too heavy for day to day wear.

Lierac Laboratories - Moisturizing Rescue Mask
Lierac Laboratories – Moisturizing Rescue Mask

And lastly, if you need a quick hydrating boost to your skin, look no further than the Moisturizing Rescue Mask ($47 CAD). This one was very similar to the moisturizer, except you get it done faster by wearing this for about 20 minutes or so. I used this immediately once I got back from our 24 hour travel time from our trip to Australia and I didn’t suffer from the dried out skin issues that I usually do the few days after I’ve been off a plane. Success!

This whole range by Lierac is scented with rose, jasmine and gardenia. Hilariously, I don’t like ANY of those scents, but each of the notes is not so pervasive that they stand out. For whatever reason, once they’re all combined, it’s just a “nice” scent. Not overpowering and not cloying, which I highly appreciate.

Top picks for me?

  • Moisturizing Rescue Mask – that thing is a total winner and a skin saviour as far as I’m concerned!
  • Lait Micellaire – super nice face wash. Love this one!

Let me know if you’ve heard of Lierac before and if you’ve tested out their products – I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Lierac can be purchased on beautyboutique.ca and on lierac.ca.

The products featured in this post were sent to me for consideration. Post may contain affiliate links.

Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oils (Review & Swatches)

Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oils

This is the first time in a long while (or maybe ever??) that I’ve been genuinely excited about what is essentially a lip balm. Some of you may have seen my August favourites video in which I professed my love for the Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil in Honey… well there’s a whole slew of other flavours to choose from now!

Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oils
Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oils

Although the Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil formula is not a new one, what is new is the four new flavours they released on June 1, 2017. Although I had only been familiar with the original (I think it’s the original one anyway) flavour in Honey, I was really excited to try out the newly released additions to the lineup.

Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oils
Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oils

I initially started using a baby sample size I happened to have of the original Honey one because my lips were becoming extremely chapped from moving into our new condo and, for whatever reason, I get dry AF when we move. The Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil was a total saviour – not only was it super hydrating, but it also helped to lock in moisture because the product is quite thick. Not so thick that you feel like it’s a goopy mess, but the good kind of thickness where you know it’s doing something good to your lips.

Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oils
Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oils

The thing that’s really nice about these is that the formula is basically skincare that ends up looking like a luxurious lip gloss. They’re packed full with hazelnut and organic jojoba oils to help nourish and smooth your lips, while also providing an insanely glossy shine.

Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil comes with a really bulbous applicator tip
Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil comes with a really bulbous applicator tip

There is one thing that makes me laugh about the product though, and that’s the bulbous applicator. It does do an excellent job of hugging the lips and delivering product, but it’s so enormous that you may actually fling some product on the walls or floor while you’re trying to pull out the applicator from the tube. Honestly, it’s more funny than anything else, but it IS something to be aware of! (Shawna of Spill the Beauty also noticed this in her recent review as well.)

Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil - swatches
Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil – swatches
  • Candy: They say the scent is based on cherry, raspberry and strawberry mixed together, which I find somewhat accurate, although I think I’d just label it as “fruity”. It comes across as a glossy pink on the lips.
  • Tangerine: Although I love the glossy orange sheen of this one, I find it so bizarre that they labelled it tangerine and then made the scent red currant. Like… what? Still really lovely though!
  • Honey Glam: Easily my favourite out of all the new shades. It has the same delicious scent as the original Honey, but this time it’s chockful of gold glitter particles. The gold glitter is very apparent on the lips and looks absolutely beautiful – this would make for a great lipstick topper.
  • Mint: I get a lot more peppermint flavour than I do straight mint out of this one, but I do prefer peppermint, so that makes me really happy. This one contains a little bit of menthol so you feel notice a slight cooling/tingling sensation on your lips which is intended to help plump them up.

Final Thoughts

The Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oils are absolutely winners in my book and I’m so glad they’ve extended the range to include new flavours. This product was an absolute saviour to my lips during the past month and you can bet your butt I’m going to be travelling with these little tubs of goodness the next time I get on a plane, or taking it anywhere with me where I run the risk of getting super dehydrated lips.

Online availability is a little bit all over the place for these. For Canadians, you can get the original range of Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oils on sephora.ca for $25 CAD each or you can get the new shades and the old shades on beautyboutique.ca for the same price tag. For those in the USA,  you can purchase all of the shades on sephora.com for $26 USD each.

The products featured in this post were sent to me for consideration. Post may contain affiliate links.

Skincare Saturday: Aveeno Haul + Favourites

This post is sponsored by iHerb.com.

Oh Aveeno – the very first brand I ever tried skincare from, and to this day it’s at the top of my most trusted brands! My skincare story with Aveeno is a long one – when I first moved to Toronto I discovered that the air was a lot more dry than Ottawa and suddenly I found myself needing a facial moisturizer.  My mom went out and bought me she had loved – the Aveeno Daily Moisturizer – and even though it’s 15 years later now, I still love the brand so very much!

This post is a combined haul featuring some of my favourite products by Aveeno, alongside some new-to-me items that I haven’t yet tried by the brand via shopping at  iHerb. Let’s dive in!

Aveeno face washes
Aveeno face washes

Although it seems excessive, I do actually use all three of these Aveeno face washes, albeit at different times throughout the week.

For day to day face cleansing, I usually opt for the Positively Radiant Brightening Cleanser – it’s a thicker face wash that looks like a soft shimmery golden gel when you pump some on to your hand.

If I need something because I’m getting a hint of a breakout, or if I really just want to switch it up to a more foamy wash, I’ll switch to the Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser. I’m pretty sure this is the exact same formula I used in my late teens/early twenties and I still appreciate just how light and fluffy it feels on my face.

To exfoliate my face once or twice a week, I’ll opt for the Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub. I realize it says daily scrub, but for me I don’t generally want to use something abrasive on my face every day so I space it out a bit during the week. The granules suspended within the formula are very fine and yet granular enough to help slough off dead skin.

Aveeno moisturizers have never steered me wrong!
Aveeno moisturizers have never steered me wrong!

Ah yes – my old faithfuls! I’ve been using these two moisturizers since (what feels like) the dawn of time. The Clear Complexion Daily Moisturizer is my absolute FAVOURITE product that Aveeno makes. It used to be that Aveeno didn’t make moisturizer with sunscreen in it (which is how I prefer it), but at this point, this is the *only* remaining moisturizer sans SPF that they make. For me, I prefer to apply my own additional sunscreen if I’m going to be out in the sun, so for day to day wear, I always try to hunt down this particular moisturizer. And yes, this works just as well to hydrate my 34 year old skin as it did back when I was 19!

If you’re looking for SPF to be built into your moisturizer (as I do on days I know I’m going to be out in the sun), then every other Aveeno moisturizer has you covered. The one I’ve opted for has a higher SPF (30 versus the 15 you can sometimes get). Due to the sunscreen, the Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer will have a bit of that sunscreen smell, but it’s masked well by Aveeno‘s regular skincare scent (which I really, really love). Rest assured that this sinks in fast and feels incredibly lightweight. I’ve even used it in a pinch on my arms while on vacation in Florida and it worked wonders – extremely lightweight, and kept my protected from the sun!

New to me: Aveeno's tinted moisturizer!
New to me: Aveeno’s tinted moisturizer!

On to the items I haven’t tried out yet but can’t wait to! I decided I wanted to try out the Positively Radiant CC Cream in Fair to Light (also contains 30 SPF) – I’m anticipating this to feel exactly the same as the previously mentioned sunscreen, but with a hint of coverage. As you can see from the swatch, the fair to light shade does lean a bit warm, and was a bit darker than I expected. I think if you’re a MAC NW20 and up, you’ll be fine to wear it, but you may struggle if you’re paler than that.

These two are also ones I hadn’t tried before this sponsored purchase, but was definitely eager to try!

I’m always willing to see how a brand’s makeup removing wipes will perform, so I plunked the Aveeno ones in my cart right away. (Not tried them out yet, but will report back in one of my upcoming Empties videos!)

And the item I hadn’t tried, but dug into IMMEDIATELY once I got it was the Positively Radiant Daily Cleansing Pads. I was sooo curious about this enormous tub! As it turns out, the tub contains 28 self-foaming dual-textured pads.  It’s essentially pre-soaked cotton rounds that contain a facial cleanser. The pads are so large and lather so well that I would suggest you cut them in half because you really don’t need a whole one to clean your face with, so you might as well save yourself some money. The pad lathered up well on my face and rinsed off easily when I was done. I liked that there’s a slightly more abrasive side so you can really dig into your pores if you need to. This one was an enormous winner for me and would be great to bring if you’re going camping and need something quick and easy to wash your face with.

If you’ve read some of my iHerb.com posts before, you know the deal. However, if you’re new to them, it’s definitely worth repeating: they sell over 35,000 products and ship to over 160 countries.  And? Their shipping is INCREDIBLY cheap, even to Canada! For an order around $60, the shipping cost is coming out to about $9 CAD and that includes pre-paid duties when you choose to ship via DHL. You also have the option to choose $0 shipping, but you do run the risk of getting hit by Canadian customs when it clears the border. As a Canadian, I cannot STAND paying exorbitant shipping fees and iHerb ensures that I don’t. iHerb.com is also a Google trusted store and their Customer Service team can provide support in 10 different languages.

Even better? Get a 10% instant discount on your next Aveeno order via iHerb by clicking here!

Skincare Saturday: Skincare Routine featuring Neutrogena!

This post is sponsored by iHerb.com.

There are some brands on the market that I always come back to for their staple products, and Neutrogena is definitely one of my top skincare picks that fit into that bucket. I know their products are always going to work for me and provide me with the results I need! For today’s post, I’ve teamed up with iHerb.com to give you a look at a full face routine using Neutrogena as a cornerstone for good skincare.

My first step towards prepping my skin for the day is face wash (as I would assume it is for just about everyone!). It totally depends on what I’m feeling that morning, but I’ll either opt for a gentle cleanser or for a more vigorous scrub a few times a week to slough off any dead skin from my face.

For days when I just need “the usual”, I’ll opt for Neutrogena’s Natural Purifying Facial Cleanser. In terms of face washes, this is one of the most basic I’ve used, and therefore one of the ones I appreciate the most. I don’t need bells and whistles when I’m washing my face – I just need it to the job, and do it well. And that’s exactly what the Purifying Facial Cleanser does for me: it washes away the sleepies from the night before and invigorates me for the day.

Sometimes I do like a more serious scrub on my face (usually about once or twice a week) and lately I’ve been trying out the Neutrogena Acne Foaming Scrub. I am not prone to acne in the least, but I do find I end up reaching for acne scrubs the most – perhaps as a preventative measure? Either way, my skin is being kept clear of acne and it’s getting a slightly deeper cleanse with the little scrubbies suspended within the product.

From here, there’s really two ways I can go with my skincare routine. If it’s a work day, I’ll opt to apply moisturizer and primer before going in with a full face of makeup. The Neutrogena Healthy Skin Primer comes with a built in sunscreen with 15 SPF. So for those of you that don’t like SPF in your moisturizer (I’m one of them), this is a great way to get that extra boost of skincare coverage you’ll need while commuting to the office.

I definitely apply moisturizer before I apply my primer, but I wanted to stop for a moment to appreciate this particular moisturizer. The Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel with Hylauronic Acid has become one of my absolute favourite skincare products in the last year or so. I first reviewed it in April 2016 and I have been completely enamoured with it ever since. I am absolutely in LOVE with this product! This is a really slippery gel cream texture moisturizer that feels incredible on the skin. I was astonished that such a thin formula could actually keep my dry skin hydrated all winter – but it DID! Winter or summer, this moisturizer is an absolute dream on my skin and I cannot recommend it enough!

The other way I’ll take my skincare is if I’m heading out for a run or to soccer on the weekends. I don’t need the facial primer, but I DEFINITELY need sunscreen on my face and body. One of the more comfortable sunscreen formulas on the market is the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen SPF 55. It’s one of the least sticky formulas I’ve tried and leaves me with the very thinnest film possible on the skin (because let’s get real – no matter how much we want it, there isn’t a single suncreen on the market that is going to feel like you’re touching your own skin). It sinks in fast, and is water and sweat resistant – which means it’s not going to be seeping into my eyes while I’m out for a run or playing a game on a hot summer day.

And if you need to clean up quickly? Grab your Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes and give yourself a pat down. I’ll never be more grateful than when I rediscover a packet of Neutrogena wipes in my bag. Whether your hands are sticky, or your face feels greasy (or heck, even your hands from having just applied sunscreen!), these are always here to save the day.

I’ve mentioned iHerb.com before and I just wanted to make sure to reiterate a few things: they sell over 35,000 products and ship to over 160 countries.  And? Their shipping is INCREDIBLY cheap, even to Canada! For an order around $60, the shipping cost is coming out to about $9 CAD and that includes pre-paid duties when you choose to ship via DHL. You also have the option to choose $0 shipping, but you do run the risk of getting hit by Canadian customs when it clears the border. As a Canadian, I cannot STAND paying exorbitant shipping fees and iHerb ensures that I don’t.  iHerb.com is also a Google trusted store and their Customer Service team can provide support in 10 different languages.

Even better? Get a 10% instant discount on your next Neutrogena order via iHerb by clicking here!

Do you have a typical skincare routine? Or do you shake it up? What brands are your favourites?