Wednesday, December 30, 2015

What's in my hospital beauty bag?

Before you roll your eyes at me let me explain!
I don’t plan on wearing a full face of makeup during labour. Nor do I care if I look tired, ill or pale after birth. My beauty bag is solely based on the principal of 'I want to have things to make me as comfortable as possible during my stay at the hospital'. Yes, I realize childbirth isn’t a fashion show but I just can’t help that beauty takes me to my zen place. So ladies and gentleman (I’m sure most men have clocked out by now) these are the contents of my hospital beauty bag.

Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Balm  
From what I’ve read lip balm is a must during childbirth. I’m not sure if this is from the intense breathing or the dry hospital air, but I don't want to added discomfort of cracked lips. To combat this pesky inconvenience I have selected the Fresh Advanced Therapy. Why you ask? Basically I read a ton of good reviews and thought it sounded like a good idea.

Clinique Moisture Surge Facial Mist
Beauty guru, journalist and a complete kick ass, Sali Hughes mentioned this spray was a must have during child birth. It’s refreshing, hydrating and ultimately if it’s good enough for Sali its good enough for me. Total diva product, but everything about this spray sounds like a good idea.

Lavender Aromatherapy Spray
Will lavender aromatherapy spray work as a natural from of an epidural? I don’t think so. With that being said I do like the scent of lavender and I’m willing to try just about anything to keep me calm during labour. This natural aromatherapy spray was an affordable $10.00, so I thought to myself why not?
On a side note I think this would make a lovely affordable pillow spray as well.  

Ole Henriksen Nurture Me Cleansing Clothes
I am a proper cleanse kind of girl through and through! AND I recommend you always take the time to properly cleanse your skin, but I’ve heard sometimes in labour things get crazy and your skincare routine goes out the door. So while I am still bringing a proper cleanser with me I thought these whips could come in handy should I need them. Again I bought these based on rave reviews; let’s hope they live up to the hype!

Dior Skin BB Cream
I love Dior’s BB cream because it’s light weight, natural looking, moisturizing and you can apply it with your fingers. Should I want to spruce myself up a bit this seems like the perfect handy must have product.

Clarins Instant Concealer
Again if I feel like getting slightly dolled I thought this might be good to have in my bag. As for the product itself this is my go to, high coverage, long lasting concealer of choice. I have a whole review on this product here. I can’t tell you how much I love this stuff it’s probably one of the best products I’ve tried this year.

Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara
Mascara makes your eyes look brighter, bigger and more awake. For the seconds it takes to apply mascara is a must for me and barely takes any room in my bag too.

The slew of samples!
The Honest Company Face and Body Lotion - I am prone to dry skin so I thought this mini tube would come in handy especially since hospitals are prone to being so dry.

The Honest Company Body Wash-Our hospital tells you to bring your own body soap, again I had a tube of this kicking around in my sample stash.

The Honest Company Lavender Hand Soap- Not really sure why I am bringing this, but it smells nice so its coming with me!

Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Shea Butter-This nourishing cleanser is both gentle and hydrating. For those who know me know I can't be without a proper cleanse.

Clarins Blue Orchid Oil- A dry, sensitive skincare must! This oil is so nourishing I'm not even worried about taking a serum or a traditional moisturizer with me. 

So with the baby coming any day now, I welcome any suggestions what did back in your hospital bag? I am actually I'm surprised I haven't put myself into labour by this long winded post. 
I hope all of your enjoyed your holidays and have a Happy New Years ... until next time!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Paula’s Choice Resist Skin Firming Liner Minimizer Review

There is nothing that generates more opinions then the topic of anti-aging. Even in my immediate family there are Botox advocates, serum worshipers, retinol lovers and a handful of ladies who plan on letting nature take its course. My personal mantra is a simple one … prevention and treatment. This means my routine is rich in hydration and SPF to keep wrinkles and sun spots from appearing. Should things get crazy and fine lines appear I follow with a treatment accordingly. 

I can ramble all day about anti-aging, but I will spare you … at least for now. 

Now approaching my 30’s I have noticed fine line around my eyes, forehead and mouth. Not all women experience this, but as a dry skin sufferer it’s easy for my skin to look a little prune like (no matter what moisturizer I use). For the past couple of years I have always resorted to retinol treatments to battle these lines.  Recently since becoming pregnant I have avoided these trusty but irritating (sometimes) treatments. With my old tricks not working what is a girl to do?

Introducing Paula’s Choice Skin Resist Firming Line Minimizer! This treatment claims to improve fine line, wrinkles and firmness around the eyes and mouth. How you ask? Similar to retinol based Paula’s Skin Resist uses amino acids amp up cellular turnover. In addition to the increasing cellular turnover this treatment also helps repairs damaged elastin and increases collagen production. Basically it’s the trifecta approach to making your skin look bouncy, plump, juicy… also known as youthful. 

You know there are a ton retinol creams out there that are great. With that being said there are a tons of people find these products irritating. There are also many women (such as myself) who avoid retinols while pregnant too. Whatever side of the fence you fall on Paula’s Firming Line Minimizer is a powerful, yet gentle wrinkle reducer perfect for those who want to avoid conventional retinols. The smart dropper applicator, the impressive ingredient list, but ultimately the results of this treatment really make it worth checking out.

You can find this product here!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Make it a Coco Christmas

One of my biggest passions in beauty is perfume. I love the bottles, the scents, but most of all I love the memories perfume invokes. The perfume that I have the strongest memories with is Chanel Coco. To me this might as well be called Chanel Christmas. So with Christmas just around the corner I thought why not take a trip down memory lane?

Years back as a Christmas spurge I bought myself a bottle of Chanel Coco. At the time I was a broke college student looking for a fiery fragrance to wear on winter nights out. Now these were the years that most girls wore Juicy Couture, I however opted for the complete opposite. Yes, a part of me wanted to stand out from the crowed of girls wearing sweet white florals. However the other part of me thought the notes of Bulgarian rose, sexy amber and sweet vanilla would complement flirting and a glass of a red wine to a T.  So for a very brief time Chanel Coco became my signature night out scent. 

I’m not sure what prompted me to carry such a large fragrance in my purse. Was this a thing that people did? Do people still do this? Mind you looking back perhaps big purses were in. Questions aside Christmas morning came and when it came time to pick my fragrance for the day the obvious choice was Coco. Plus it helped that I lugged this refillable bottle with me everywhere. On that Christmas day this perfume instantly transformed for me. The notes of clove and mandarin complimented the spicy notes of Christmas. At the same time the scent of sandalwood, tonka bean and vanilla captured the warmth of a big family get together.

From being in teens and helping my mom with Christmas dinner to now being an adult and celebrating Christmas in my own house Coco marks the past 10 years in holidays for me. With Coco I traded my party girl heels for the comfort of a huge family get together and I’m so glad I did. If you if you can stop for a quick spritz of this perfume I can’t recommend this masterpiece enough.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Antipodes Vanilla Pod Hydrating Cream Review

Over the past year I’ve become more conscious about the ingredients that are in beauty products. Granted I still use some products that contain nasties, but my overall outlook is avoid bad when possible. A brand that peeked my interest over the past year is Antipodes and the first thing on the ‘to try’ list is the Vanilla Pod Hydrating Cream.

Usually I start my skincare reviews by ingredients, formula or my personal experience with the product. However with a name that sounds so delicious I thought let’s just start with scent. Now I am a vanilla lover. From the cheap vanilla scents to more sophisticated ones too, I love everything vanilla. If you were worried about this smelling like generic vanilla body wash I am happy to report the scent of this cream is definitely on the sophisticated side. In fact this smells like vanilla pods mixed with honey and clemintine… its lovely and it’s something I look forward to using each any every morning.
I wish this cream was edible, because darn would this make a beautiful tasting dessert.
Antipodes describes this as a “light but intensive” day cream… I don’t want to be a pain in the butt, but I can’t say I completely agree.  In terms of moisturizing this product boasts shea butter, rose hip oil, macadamia oil and grape seed oil. This blend of hydrating ingredients pretty much guarantees your skin is left supple and nourished. The texture of this cream is on the thicker side, which is great for us dry skin suffers but might be a little to emollient oily skinned ladies.

Oily skin sufferers don't stop reading because this cream has got your back too. In addition to absorbing into the skin beautifully this moisturizer boosts honey. Honey is an excellent natural anti-bacterial, which aids to keeping skin clear and spot free. So fear not oily skin types, this moisturizer is equally suited for your skin type too.

This cream makes my dry, sometimes sensitive skin glow. In addition to be hydrating I love that this cream also boasts anti-oxidants. These powerful anti-oxidants keep your skin protected from environmental aggressors during the day. In my humble option this cream is a pleasure to use and honestly something I look forward to each day.  From the enchanting scent to the intense hydration Antipodes Vanilla Pod Hydrating Cream is the perfect way to finish any morning skincare routine.  

You can get this cream here for $48.00 CAD.

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Ultimate Pregnancy Beauty Must Haves

Pregnancy update: I can no longer see my feet. This means that tube of lipstick that fell out of my purse and somewhere on the bedroom floor… it might as well be lost forever!  In pregnancy there are a certain things us ladies need. These “Must Have” lists usually outline a list of prenatal vitamins combined with a selection of maternity clothes. Now I’m not disputing you don’t need those things, but there are certain beauty things we need to. So ladies here is my pregnancy beauty must haves!
As a girl who used to bounce around the house I have now become a step closer looking like a waddling penguin women. I have to say I’m cool with my new found stride, but as the boobs and belly get bigger I’m finding I am prone to back pain. To combat the persistent back pain I get massages and ladies it works freaken wonders. Not only it release tension, feel great but it also helps me sleep like a baby at night. If you’re pregnant I would highly suggest prenatal massage because it will make you feel like a million bucks.

Intense Belly Hydration
There no nice way to put it, but growing bellies and itchy skin come hand in hand. This means over the past few months I’ve tried belly oils, butters, balms, lotions and I’ve come to two conclusions:
The greasier the better… BUT
I will gladly use anything you throw at me, because some moisture is better than no moisture!
I really like Aveda’s Beautifying Composition Oil and The Honest Companies Belly Balm. However I also like to have a portable option in my purse too such as a The Body Shops Mini Body Butters.  Yes, portable options, because trust me it’s never a bad time to moisturize your growing belly.

Bath Time
As mentioned before the pregnant body is prone to all sorts of aches and pains.  Another way I combat these symptoms is a relaxing bath. If you want a fancy bath by all means whip out your favourite Lush bath balm and light your favourite candle. Personally I find a bath using Epsom salts gives the most relief to those achy body pregnancy symptoms. My favourite Epsom salts are Target’s Up & Up Lavender Bath Salts. Not only are they extremely affordable (about $4.00 for a 3 pound bag), but the lavender scent is super soothing too.

As a dark circle sufferer concealer has always been a really good friend. However since becoming pregnant I have made a best friend out of this makeup live saving product! Okay I’m exaggerating about the life saving part, but concealer is a must have for the pregnant women. Why? Well first a common pregnancy symptom is red blotchy skin. For me my red blotchy area is around my nose and a little concealer does wonders at masking my persistent Rudolph nose. Secondly, because of all those raging hormones we pregnant women are prone to sassy-ness and pimples. Concealer will be your best friend during those times too! Finally is the lack of consistent sleep can cause some serious dark circles under the eyes. Ladies concealer has your back during those groggy mornings too!
Basically what I’m saying is invest in a good concealer ladies…

Thursday, December 3, 2015

November Favourites

I’ve said this before but I will say it again… in my mind I like to think I'm cool, calm and collected, but in reality I'm far from it. In the past couple of weeks I've been on a rampage of cleaning, setting up the nursery and getting everything ready for Christmas. So far the nursery is done, the baby’s hospital bag is packed and the Christmas presents have been bought and wrapped... I believe they call this "nesting". Anyways in these crazy "nesting" times I have accumulated some favourites so without further ado let’s get started. 
Bobbi Brown Corrector 
Basically I had been using this concealer in the wrong shade for years. Yes, years because I was too afraid to try the darker, pink-ier shade even though it was the right shade all along. Beauty mistakes aside this concealer does an excellent job and both correcting and covering those dark circles. The Bobbi Brown corrector was a great product all along, but I have a new found love for this since purchasing my correct shade. 
Go pink with your concealer ladies, full review here!

Target’s Up & Up Lavender Bath Salts 
I truly believe in the power of taking a bath with Epsom salts. I also believe that the combination of wrapping presents and decorating the tree has totally messed up my back. To get relief I have been using these budget friendly bath salts. In addition to pain relief the lavender scent also helps calm and soothing the mind before bed too.  At $3.67 for a 3 pound bag this bargain beauty buy is worth checking out.

Aveda Botanical Kinetics Exfoliant
I have really, really been loving this chemical exfoliator over the past month. Aveda’s Exfoliant boasts a cocktail salicylic acid, lactic acid and witch hazel. Sounds intense, but it’s actually extremely mild. If you wanted to get your glow on, but without the added makeup you’re going to need a bottle of this.
This product also works wonders on ingrown hairs, TMI I know, but it just had to be said.
Full review here!

Chanel Le Beige & Bourjois Silk Edition
As a dry skin sufferer I avoided pressed powders like the plague. However after finding a few luminous pressed powders my feelings on the product have changed over the past year. Two of my all-time favourites are the Bourjois Silk Edition and the Chanel Le Beige. Bourjois is my week day warrior long lasting setting powder and the Chanel is my fancy and more luminous weekend setting powder. Each powder has a huge place in my heart, but unfortunately I have hit pan on both.
This is becoming a full fledge ramble at this point, but basically what I am getting to is I don’t know which ones I should repurchase? Or do I try something new?
Makeup made confusing on this double favourite. 

What are some of your favourites leave me a comment below!
Or if you have any suggestions for a luminous setting powder I would love to hear them.