Monday, June 29, 2015

Bringing The Outdoors In - House Plants From IKEA

House Plants

It's easy to go decor-crazy when you're trying to make a space look alive and inviting. A simple solution for filling a void, whether big or small, is a fresh leafy house plant.

Cut flowers can get very expensive, so I always go for a sturdy plant especially when it comes to a housewarming gift. If you're on a budget, IKEA has an amazing selection of unique plants and accompanying pots that won't break the bank.

Here are my best tips for keeping a house plant happy:

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Skin Toner Cheat Sheet

Skin Toner Cheat Sheet

Three-step skincare routines have been all the rage for decades, and it seems like the “toner” part has often been overlooked as unimportant. The classic toner is usually alcohol based and removes all dirt and oil in attempts to clear breakouts. But what should toner really do?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

L'OCCITANE CEDRAT Collection for Men

Multitaskers. Though I love an intricate routine, on those busy days there's nothing sweeter than a one-and-done product. Today I have a shower gel that works equally as well as a shampoo, and an after-shave that has all the benefits of a lightweight moisturizer. 

Father's Day is this Sunday, and for the special occasion L'OCCITANE has released a brand new collection for all the guys in your life. CEDRAT is a "fresh and masculine fragrance and skincare range" consisting of shaving products, face cream and cleanser, shower products, deodorant and a cologne (shop here). Over the past week or two I have enlisted the help of my product tester Joseph to give his opinion on this luxe duo from L'OCCITANE's mens department. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

HowTo Style A Button-Down Shirt

{Sources linked below}

One of the most timeless wardrobe items has to be a crisp white button-down shirt. My favourite style is long and boxy, which can often be found in the mens department. But you don't need to spend a fortune on a good white shirt - browse through the clearance section of a department store, or (for a more economical option) even your dad's closet.

When shopping for a white dress shirt, keep in mind that pieces made from 100% cotton get wrinkly and will attract lint like crazy. Try to find a shirt made from a blend of polyester, cotton, or silky modal.


1. Paired with a statement necklace and boyfriend jeans

This is a great way to show off a beautiful necklace and ensure that the neckline doesn't get too risqué. I also love how this shirt has a tie at the bottom, which would look really cute with some shorts.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Perfecting the Facial Massage

Most of our skin concerns can be helped or even solved using one simple step: facial massage.

Whether it's as a makeup cleanser or a nighttime moisturizer, you will see multiple benefits from a gentle and frequent face massage using oil.

Why? How?

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Daily Moisturizer For Every Skin Type

A few weeks back I shared my four favourite night creams, while explaining the difference between emollient ingredients versus humectants. Click here to see that post, and read on to discover four of the best daily moisturizers for each skin type.

For reference, I have combination-oily skin that tends to get quite flaky and dehydrated. Something like the Embryolisse cream (listed fourth) is a bit too oily for my skin and may clog pores.

Sensitive-Combination: Reversa Anti-Redness Soothing Care $32

"Protects and soothes sensitive/reactive skin that's prone to redness. It replenishes and protects skin’s moisture barrier, which greatly improves skin comfort and helps reduce the appearance of facial redness." 

This is a recent discovery from the Canadian brand Reversa, and I am pleasantly surprised. Though it doesn't diminish redness that much, it seems to be a great moisturizer for my sensitive/combo skin and I love the green tint. A little goes a long way.

Note: For those with extremely oily skin, Clean & Clear Dual Action Moisturizer is a cult favourite. Sometimes people with oily skin think that no moisturizer at all is the best option. I would much sooner recommend using a small amount of one of these first two moisturizers, since that will allow your skin to feel balanced and produce less oil over time. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Pivoine Sublime By L'Occitane

Peonies are one of the most lush flowers in the world, and until now, I thought they were just pretty to look at. I've been using rose water in my skincare routine as a calming and refreshing facial mist, and I am so happy to have been introduced to a new floral extract this season. 

For Spring 2015, L'OCCITANE is expanding their peony-infused line to include five noteworthy products that will bring new radiance to an ordinary routine. Pivoine Flora (shop here) is a classic perfumed line created in 2010, which features six Peony fragranced body products ranging from bath oil to shower gel, and of course their classic hand cream and soap. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

How To Save Money (But Still Have Fun)

Before you start cringing at the thought of summer shopping, pricy dinners, drinks and events, remember that you can save money while still having fun.

If you make it a priority to save on the regular, you will have money in the bank for when you need it. Plain and simple! So here are 10 tips I follow to save when I can, so that I'm able to splurge when I want.

1. Shop the sale and spend intelligently

Unless you need one specific item, don't settle for full price. Ask if stores have a student discount, sign up for mailing lists, and put aside some time to flip through the sale section. Where beauty is concerned, you really don't need to splurge on high-end face wash, body lotion, nail polish, mascara, etc. Visit linked here for more Beauty Products To Save On.

2. Be creative with dates and outings

If your home is friend-friendly, become a pro hostess. Have your friends bring the goods and enjoy an affordable get together. Where dates are concerned, visit museums, theatres and art galleries on free or discounted evenings (student nights at the ROM, COC and AGO!) then get outside in the warmer months. With some quick Googling I'm sure you can find at least 20 free summer outings in the city.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Day To Night Spring Makeup

For ELLE Canada's #BeautyPlaylist contest I created a day-to-night makeup look that incorporates my favourite Springtime shades. Corals and pinks are all the rage right now, so I used a pink shadow pencil from CoverGirl, a poppy pink lipstick from Wet n Wild and that same lip colour blended onto the cheeks for this simple 5 minute look.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Night Cream For Every Skin Type

Moisturizing is crucial in a good skincare routine. Whether your skin is oily, dry, acne-prone, aging, or a combination, lack of moisture will result in wrinkles, dullness, and even oiliness. 

So there are two kinds of "moisturizers" : humectants and emollients

Humectants bind water to the skin cells. A very common humectants is glycerin, and the most popular one in the skincare world right now is hyaluronic acid (listed as Sodium Hyaluronate in the ingredients). Hyaluronic acid can be injected into the skin to "fill" lips or wrinkles (fillers). This ingredient has a similar plumping affect when applied to the skin topically, since it holds a lot of water and brings natural radiance to dry, dull skin.

Emollients smooth out dry skin cells and help repair and protect. These ingredients often appear as plant oils, providing a somewhat "occlusive" barrier that will trap in moisture and block out bacteria, allowing the skin to stay soft despite the harsh environment.

The best creams or lotions include both humectants and emollients to help maintain and improve the skin's look and feel over time.

Read on to see my 4 favourite nighttime moisturizers, and why each one works great for specific skin types.

The Repairwear Sculpting Night Cream from Clinique came as a complete surprise, since I really underestimated its moisturizing capabilities. This is a true gel-cream that feels thin and light when you scoop it out, but goes on thick and almost oily. It's perfect for my combination skin since it doesn't congest my T-zone and it hydrates my dry cheeks. This might not have enough moisture for dry skin, but it's a fantastic product for normal to oily. My skin always looks fresh, clear and really bouncy after using this night cream.

Ingredients: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dipropylene Glycol, Alcohol Denat, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Aspalathus Linearis (Red Tea) Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Yellow Tea) Leaf Extract, Betula Alba (Birch) Bark Extract, Polygonum Cuspidatum Root Extract, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Leaf Extract, Saccharomyces Lysate Extract, Cucumis Melo (Melon) Extract, Coleus Barbatus Extract, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Centella Asiatica (Hydrocotyl) Extract, Adenosine Phosphate, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Creatine, Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter, Sigesbeckia Orientalis (St. Paul's Wort) Extract, Jojoba Esters, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Decarboxy Carnosine HCL, Dimethicone, Acetyl Carnitine HCL,
Sodium Hyaluronate, Cholestrol, Whey Protein/ Protéine du Petit-Lait, Tocopheryl Acetate, Butylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol Dicaprate, Caffeine, Sea Whip Extract, Linolenic Acid, Phytantriol, Sodium RNA, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Yeast Extract, PEG-150, Tetrahexydecyl Ascorbate, Polyquaternium-51, Potassium Sulfate, Citric Acid, Socium Hexametaphosphate, Sodium Citrate, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Clarins UV Plus +HP Multi-Protection Tinted Sunscreen

It's starting to feel like summer. Hallelujah. 

With bright sunshine comes powerful UV rays, and a sizzling burn on my wintery-white skin. On mornings when I know I'll be out walking in the sun, I make sure to apply at least an SPF 30, and I'll bring my tiny TarteGuard 30 SPF along for reapplication. 

I always pull out my Clarins UV Plus +HP Multi-Protection Tinted Sunscreen with SPF 40 in the shade Light when I want a bb cream-like coverage along with some reliable sun protection. This product is definitely more of a tan shade, and it is quite dark for my pale complexion. Nevertheless, it truly is a tinted sunscreen, and works as a nice boost of colour on vacation, under makeup, or alone on the weekend.

This sunscreen comes in a small 50mL bottle (1.7 fl. Oz) and is a very thin liquid. The active ingredient is Titanium Dioxide (7%) which is a mineral sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Clarins UV + HP Sunscreen comes in two shades: light and medium.

Like with many sunscreens, my skin will get a bit more oily throughout the day when I wear it, and the product has a tendency to highlight any dry or flaky skin. This particular sunscreen will dry down to a nice matte finish upon application, so a hint of shine after a few hours never bothers me.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Products I've Used Up #4

Happy Monday! Today I'm emptying out my finished products bin and sharing my thoughts on each and every item. Here's my last empties post to see some previous faves and duds. 

I am marking items according to these three opinions:

1. I love and would repurchase 
2. I would recommend, but would not repurchase 
3. I do not like and would not recommend 

Missha 24K Gold Caviar Collagen Cotton Sheet Mask - This is a great sheet mask that made my skin feel rejuvenated and fresh. I got two uses out of it since I kept the package and used the excess liquid as a serum later on that week.

 The Body Shop Seaweed Day Cream - This stuff sucks. It is loaded with alcohol, perfume, and irritates my skin without adding any moisture. I would not recommend the entire Seaweed range.

✓ Dolce & Gabanna Dolce Perfume - I loved this Sephora sample so much that I bought a travel size for my bag. I hate spending lots of money on perfume, which is why I don't plan on buying a full-sized bottle. My current favourite is Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc from L'Occitane, a brand new addition to their Collection de Grasse which I just reviewed here.

✓ Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate - I've used a few samples of this nighttime oil, and I think it's okay. My skin much prefers a regular lotion or a simple oil like Argan or Sweet Almond oil for night. Regardless, it's a nice product to try out seeing as how there are countless rave reviews out there.

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