photo aztec-mess_zps0a762b67.png

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Bye Bye Google Reader... Hey there, Bloglovin!

As all of you have probably heard a million times by now, Google Reader is shutting down today :(. Meaning, any of you who are currently subscribed to my blog will no longer be as of July 1st. However, if you want to say subscribed, then you can follow my blog on bloglovin (link here) :). It takes only a couple minutes to make an account if you don't already have one.

There's even an app for bloglovin that can be downloaded onto your phones or ipads!

Also, here's a post that gives you instructions on how to upload the blogs you're subscribed to, onto bloglovin, so you don't have to manually follow each one (link here).

I really hope all you lovely followers will continue to follow me even after google reader is gone :). I love reading your comments and hope we will stay in touch. Love you all!


Thursday, 27 June 2013

Review: Origins - VitaZing SPF 15 Energy Boosting Moisturizer

This has been my number one staple during the hot weather and I just had to rave about it to you guys. It's also the first Origins product that I have ever tried, so definitely a good first impression of the brand!

Essentially it's a sheer tinted moisturizer that also contains SPF 15. Ever since I became obsessed with Caroline Hiron's blog, I've been trying to follow her tips when choosing skin care products. However, because of her ground rules on what ingredients to avoid, it all of a sudden became impossible to find a good summer moisturizer that didn't contain mineral oil! And that's where Origins came in. No mineral oil, parabens, or any other nasty stuff!

I'm amazed that it smells so amazing (like oranges), but doesn't contain any added fragrances, which is great for those with sensitive skin.

The tint was a pleasant surprise for me. It evens out my skin to the point where I only need foundation in the places I need a bit more coverage, which are my rosy cheeks. However, I do see why some people think it makes them look orange  This can only happen for 2 reasons: Either you are as pale as a ghost, or you used too much. The key with this moisturizer is to use only a little bit and blend it in really well with your fingers. I think a lot of people simply don't apply it properly. Also, this is best suited for those with a yellow-undertone, not pink.

This moisturizer is also best suited for those with slightly dehydrated skin, normal skin, or combination. If your skin type is combination or oily (like mine), then you must use a good powder (eg. Rimmel Stay Matte) to keep your skin from becoming too oily during the day. I don't think I would recommend it to someone with extremely oily skin though. The moisturizer itself is very hydrating, but not too rich. It feels nice and light on the skin.

The best bit about this moisturizer is that it didn't break me out and it also kept me safe from the sun. However, I must note that SPF 15 is not strong enough to keep you from tanning, but it will prevent you from getting sun burns. I also have to mention that for those who think you break out from SPF, it's more likely you're simply not removing it properly. Anytime you wear SPF, you need to double cleanse  to thoroughly remove it all. SPF is designed to stick to your face so you do need to put in extra effort to remove it.

My only complaint is the price. €37 euros/ 50ml is very steep, even for Origins usually pricing. But I love it to bits, so I have no regrets! :). I can't wait to try out more from Origins!

What are your Origins favorites? :)

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Let's talk about spots....

I was going to do a "Tip of the Week" post regarding spots, but then I realized that I have A LOT of tips rather than just one. Over the years, I'd like to think I've accumulated a lot of information regarding pimples and acne. Not so much on severe acne (I've never actually had it, though don't worry I had other skin issues to deal with instead), but just your normal average breakouts.

For me, the most important thing about breakouts is knowing your triggers. Everyone is different and everyone has different triggers, though there are some very common ones we share. You need to listen to what your body is telling you and learn from it. There's almost always a reason why you might find a few angry pimples looking at you in the mirror.

Here are a few main ones...

1) Not Enough Sleep: so simple yet a lot of people don't realize this or forget! This would probably be my most sensitive trigger. I started noticing it when I was just starting puberty. Anytime I would go over to a friend's house for a sleepover, and of course we'd chitchat all night aka barely sleep, and I would ALWAYS wake up with several white heads. It is still the case till today, which is why I need to get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep, otherwise my skin will be angry with me in the morning. Sleep is when your body heals itself, so obviously if you're not giving your body enough time to sleep, your skin won't be able to heal. Sleep is also the most effective way of balancing out your hormones, so if you get more sleep, the more balanced your hormones will be. It doesn't matter how much you cleanse and tone if you're only giving your skin 4-6 hours a night. It is called 'beauty sleep' for a reason ;).

2) Dairy Products: this is mostly directed towards milk. If you ask any doctor, they will most likely tell you that there's no reason for any human to be drinking milk after having stopped being breast fed as a baby. Milk happens to contain a lot of hormones, which can really disrupt your body. Milk also promotes inflammation (what makes your spots so red and painful). Best solution is to obviously cut out milk completely from your life and subtitute it with almond milk or  however for all you cereal lovers (that includes myself) who find that this is impossible to do, just try cut back on the milk. Limit yourself to say once per week, or switch to organic yogurt.

3) Junk Food and Sugar: I think this is a no brainer for all of us. You are what you eat. If you eat crap, it will show on your face. If you eat lots of fruits and veggies, your skin will thank you for it. I remember only last week when the only thing open after midnight was a Burger King (the misfortunes of being hungry and out late at night) and I woke up with a big angry spot the next morning. And it doesn't just have to be fast food! It's also bad to eat anything with lots of sugar and carbs, such as cakes, candy, white bread, etc. So ditch the burger, and go for some nice fruits that are packed with antioxidants! :)

4) Hormonal Imbalance: I know what you're all thinking:"And how are we suppose to avoid that??". Luckily there are ways, and here are my top 3: more sleep, exercise, and take supplements. Obviously the first two are more natural, but I find the first and last one more effective. I personally take two supplements to keep my hormones in check, which are Omega 3 and Vitamine D. Omega 3 is very important in reducing inflammation and can be found in fatty fish if you wish to forgo the supplements. Vitamine D balances out your hormones and can be naturally gained from sunshine. I remember when I just started taking Vitamine D, which at the time was because there was no sun for weeks in rainy Canada. I noticed my skin had never looked more clear! Only later did I do some research and find out that Vitamine D helps balance out hormones. However, I must warn you all to be careful if you do choose to take supplements. Please make sure you are not taking anymore than is the recommended amount. Intoxication can occur from overdosing on vitamins, so do take care.

And there you have it! Those are my main tips on how to avoid getting break outs. I really hope this has been helpful to at least one person if not a few. And if you have any tips yourself or different triggers, please let me know in the comment section! :) x. 

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Products Not Worth The Hype #3: Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector

I've been waiting a long time to write this review. I've been testing out the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector product for ages because I just couldn't make up my mind on it. However, I have finally come to a conclusion with this extremely hyped product.

I like it. Do I love it? No. But I do like it...

This Lip Perfector is described as a "melting gel with a deliciously sweet flavor and 3D shimmer for luscious, smooth, shiny lips and a natural-colored, luminous smile. It nourishes, repairs and protects lips to leave them incredibly beautiful." 

I know this is a holy grail for many beauty folks out there, but I just couldn't fall in love with it (even though I really really wanted to!). I'm sure it works wonderfully with many others, but my lips just don't get along with the formula. Mind you, my lips are stubborn and damaged so literally every lip product dries them up unless it's a lip balm.

Sadly, the Lip Perfector does dry out my lips after a couple hours wear (which is also how long it lasts on your lips). It has a sponge tip applicator which works perfectly for getting an evenly spread application. I do like the finish: it's a glossy (but not sticky) 'your lips but better' effect. However, it doesn't "wow" me. The formula is sheer but not too sheer, it simply leaves my lips a nice natural pink. I chose one of the newest shades that recently came out, called Candy Shimmer (#05), which is a nice warm pink.

I tend to reach for it whenever I want a very natural and light look. However, I do need to take it with me if I'm on the go because it really doesn't last long. And if my lips are having a dry/chapped day, then I stay clear from it. However, my lips are just very prone to drying so I'm not surprised that the majority of people who use it actually find it moisturizing. But sadly, it's not a match made in heaven for me. Though I do love the scent, it reminds me of vanilla icing!

What are your thoughts on the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector? Yay or ney? :)

Friday, 14 June 2013

Review: Schwarzkopf Cotton Fresh Dry Shampoo (Trocken-Shampoo)

I have to be honest, I've been avoiding dry shampoos for the past few months. Why? Mainly because they don't work that well with my hair. Every dry shampoo I've tried either doesn't work or lasts only for a couple hours and goes back to being greasy. So when I tried this dry shampoo by Schwarzkopf, I was surprisingly very impressed! So of course, I had to let you all know :).

It did everything a dry shampoo promises to do: absorbs oil, leaves your hair clean, and gives volume. The reason this dry shampoo stood out to me the most is because the effect of the dry shampoo lasted even till the next day after application! Over 24 hours! Pretty impressive for something worth only €1-2. The only complaint I have is the smell. Don't get me wrong, it doesn't smell bad but I don't particularly like my hair smelling like fresh laundry. But that's just a personal preference.

Though I do still wish to find and try a dry shampoo that comes out in your hair color instead of white, like the ones offered by Batiste. What is your favorite dry shampoo? :)

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Review: BeYu Color Touch Lip Biggie

Anyone who is close to me will already know this, but I have decided to also announce it on my blog.... I have moved! I have said a temporary goodbye to my beloved home country Canada to go and study in Europe, more specifically in Germany :). I am mainly announcing this just so I can review some products that are sold over here and nobody will get too confused. Turns out, Germany has quite a few of their own cosmetic and skincare brands and I have decided to be adventurous and give them a go!

This one particularly caught my eye: It's the newly released Beyu Color Touch Lip Biggie. When I first saw this, I thought it would be similar to the Revlon Just Kissable Balm Stains. I couldn't be more wrong! The formula is nothing like a lip stain, I would even go as far as to describe the formula as a tinted lip balm, which makes sense since it's described as a "moisturizing lipcolor retractable". BeYu claim that it's a lipstick, lipgloss, and lip balm combined, but I would say they're more of lipstick and lip balm combination with a hint of sheen.

They come in 12 shades (all of which are very wearable and pretty) and I ended up choosing "Sweet Melon". First things first, these smell amaaazing. The scent is identical to the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector aka they smell like vanilla icing -  yum! It's also surprisingly quite pigmented with a bit of shimmer. It's the perfect summer orange/coral.

But what I love the most about this lip product is that it doesn't dry out my lips. For me, that's a big statement since EVERYTHING eventually dries them out, even the Revlon Lip Butters and Burt's Bees Lip Balms (I know, my lips are weird). I wouldn't go as far as to say they really moisturize my lips, but rather they keep them in the same state before I put the balm on, which for me is huge! Oddly enough, they also last quite a long time, probably 4-6 hours, and gradually fade over time.

Needless to say, I'm in love and will probably ending up buying a few more shades in the future :). They are available at Douglas for €9,95. 

Friday, 7 June 2013

Review: Michael Todd's Sensitive Skin Discovery Set + Eye Cream

I'm sure by now we have all heard about Michael Todd True Organic's... Youtubers and Bloggers have been raving about the skin care line for months now and I have to admit, I was swept away as well by this trend. Since everyone only had great things to say about Michael Todd, I have to admit, I had high expectations. The fact that Michael Todd's products are made up of mostly natural ingredients really impressed me as there aren't too many brands like that on the market.

However, I was worried that I wouldn't get on with some products so I decided to go with a "Discovery Set", which pretty much included travel-size versions of some of their items. Not all of their items are exactly cheap so I didn't want to splurge on full-sized products without knowing if I liked them or not. I decided to go with the Sensitive Skin set to be on the safe side, which happened to be on sale and even included the eye cream as a free bonus. The set also included a nice clear makeup bag :).

I've been trying all of them out for a few months now, so I can finally write a conclusive review on the package :).

1) Honey and Oat Gentle Deep Pore Cleanser: At first I did like this cleanser, though it was very sticky to use (no doubt, due to the honey). However, the more I used it, the more I began to dislike it. It was very very drying, and I have oily skin so that's saying something! I should've realized this when I saw how much this cleanser foams (any cleanser that foams is generally quite drying). Needless to say, I have stopped using this cleanser all together. Very disappointing.

2) Blue Green Algae AntiBacterial Toner: This toner proved to be worth all the hype it received! I can hands down say that this toner has helped clear my skin up and kept it clear. I love that it's antibacterial and isn't too drying for my skin. I especially love using this in the mornings when I wake up, it feels very refreshing! Will definitely repurchase this :). Though I warn you now, the smell isn't the most pleasant...

3) Charcoal Detoxifying Facial Mask: I was probably most excited to try this one out. Sadly, I was very disappointed. My face didn't look or feel any different from using this mask. It's not moisturizing, didn't prevent or help heal spots, nothing. My face didn't feel any cleaner after using it. However, I have heard it work for other people so it might just be down to skin type.

4) Citrus Cream Moisturizer with DMAE and Hyaluronic Acid: I have mixed feelings about this moisturizer. The first few times I used it, my skin felt dry and tight. However, I learned later that you need to use quite a bit of it to get the wanted effect of moisture. I don't like that it feels oily on the skin after application, but it does really help my slightly dry cheeks. It also magically clears up my keratosis pilaris bumps on my cheeks, which really impressed me! Though it's not the best thing to use on your t-zone if you're oily there. Good for dehydrated skin, but not oily.

5) Tropical Fruit Enzyme Exfoliant Scrub: This facial scrub is fabulous! I even featured it in my monthly favorites. It's rough enough to properly exfoliate the skin, but not too rough. It also leaves my skin feeling quite smooth and clean. Would definitely repurchase.

6) Intensive Organic Cream Eye Treatment: And last but not least, the eye cream. I must say, I do genuinely like this cream. It does an excellent job on moisturizing. Although it does not live up to a lot of promises, of which include: treating fine lines and wrinkles, puffiness and bags, and dark circles. I saw no reduction in any of these whatsoever, the only thing it did for me was hydrate.Therefore, I wouldn't say it's worth the money if it promises all these miracles.

Also, I'm not sure if it's suitable for all skin types. Normally my eyes are quite sensitive and react to all creams, whereas I was fine with this one. However, I gave some to my mom to try out and she reacted quite badly to it. Also, the packaging is horrible! The top always falls off and the pump is awkward to use.

Overall, I got along with half of these products and not so much with the rest. I definitely recommend anyone who is considering purchasing Michael Todd's products to buy a starter kit to try out before committing to full-size. Skin care is a tricky business because everyone is different. What might work for me, might not work for you and vice-versa. It's all about trial and error :). I do applaud Michael Todd for being innovative in the use of all natural ingredients for skincare, hopefully some other products might suit me more :).

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Tip of the Week #2

Hello everybody! This week's tip is going to be short and simple. It's going to be all about removing eye makeup. I see so many people just rubbing their eyes violently with a cotton pad with no disregard towards their lashes or future wrinkles. So I've decided to write out a little outline on how to go about removing your eye makeup, especially mascara. Let's begin!

Rule Number One: NO RUBBING ALLOWED! Nobody wants wrinkles or eyelashes falling out! Your eyes are very sensitive and the skin is especially thin there. 
Rule Number Two: Use a good makeup remover, preferably one that doesn't irritate your eyes. My personal favorite is Bioderma H20 (review here), it's great for sensitive skin and doesn't make my eyes sting. 

Now.. on to the proper method of removing eye makeup. 

Step 1: Soak a cotton pad with your preferred make up remover. 
Step 2: Place your cotton pad over your eye and hold it there for a couple minutes or more. Really let your wet cotton pad break down the makeup, don't rush this step.
Step 3: This step is optional. You can give the cotton pad a tiny wiggle (NOT RUB).
Step 4: Gently wipe off whatever remains. 

And that's it! Super simple yet makes a huge difference :). If you want to see a live demonstration, the famous Lisa Eldridge has a video here demonstrating this technique. 

Sunday, 2 June 2013

May Favorites 2013

Where has this month gone?!? I can't believe it's already June! To be honest, I haven't been using that many products religiously this month, it really felt like I was using something different each day. I've also been trying out a lot of new products this month which I want to feature in separate posts. But I have managed to scrap a few things that I've used frequently in May :).

1. Michael Todd - Tropical Fruit Enzyme Exfoliant Scrub: I have been trying out several Michael Todd products lately and this one would have to be my favorite. It's the best facial scrub I have ever used. It's gentle but at the same tough rough enough to get the job done. It's quite concentrated in terms of exfoliating, which is what I look for in a scrub. It also smells pleasant and makes my skin feeling really nice and smooth.

2. Chanel - Sculpting Eyebrow Pencil (shade 30 Brun Naturel): I remember getting this years ago, when I got my makeup done for prom. I needed something for my brows and I was recommended this brow pencil. By no means is it the best nor probably the cheapest, but it does the job and does it quickly. I also love that it comes with a spoolie on the other side of the pencil :).

3. Clarins - Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector (shade 05): I have been trying this oh so raved product for a few weeks now but I still haven't made up my mind on it. I will definitely have a full review on it in the future once I've tested it out some more. I tend to use it when I want a very natural soft pink lip.

4. Benefit - Coralista: I forgot how much I love this blush. It truly is one of a kind and definitely something worth splashing out on. It's just the perfect shimmery coral that gives your cheeks a nice warm glow. I will definitely be continuing to use this through out the end of spring and summer time! Full review and swatches here.

5. Revlon - Colorburst Lip Butter in 'Candy Apple': This is just the perfect day time red. It's not too strong but definitely adds a gorgeous bright red color to your lips. It's also super moisturizing and leaves a nice stain on the lips over time. It looks especially beautiful when paired with denim clothing.

6. Rimmel- Apocalips in 'Luna': I have finally gotten my hands on the Rimmel Apocalips and I have to say, they are just as amazing as everyone says. They are ridiculously pigmented, to the point where you only need one thin layer of this stuff. Any more layering, and you can risk looking like a clown. They're like a lipstick, lipgloss, and lipstain combined. I've been wearing the shade 'Luna', which is a nice peachy color. Full review and swatches to come in the future.

And there you have it, my monthly favorites :). I have a lot of new reviews coming up in June, so stay tuned!