Thursday Favourites: July 30th

Hey friends! Happy Thursday!

This week marks part two of my three-part skincare tool series, and this week I’m going to be sharing a classic with you: my Rose Quartz roller from Herbivore Botanicals!

Yes, I really do use two separate rollers in my routine — one in the morning, and one at night. Because of the similar appearance of this product to my Mount Lai Jade Textured Facial Roller, I can see why a lot of people would mistake them as the same. However, the two have two distinctly different uses. The textured jade roller I shared last week is meant to massage your face and help your skincare products penetrate deeper into your skin, making it the perfect tool to incorporate into your nighttime skincare routine. The rose quartz roller, on the other hand, is smooth and a perfect addition to any morning routine.

This über-smooth, cooling roller helps to de-puff your skin in the morning, leaving you fresh-faced and looking your best. This rose quartz roller, which is naturally cool to the touch, helps to soothe your skin, while also helping over time to diminish fine lines and tone your skin. As well, this little tool helps with lymphatic drainage, which clears any residual build up of toxins or waste in the skin and helps to clear up your skin overall! Plus, the cool crystal on your skin really helps to wake you up in the morning, which is just another added bonus.

For those of you who keep hearing the term “lymphatic drainage” thrown around but don’t really know what it means, hopefully my little explanation can provide a little clarity. When you use a crystal roller on your face, it can help to manually push fluid in the system along, which paired with the cooling effect helps reduce inflammation and boosts circulation. I found an article in the Washington Post that explains it a lot better than I can — as well, it helps build up realistic expectations for using crystal rollers. While they are amazing and I love the results mine brings me, many people tend to overhype them or label them as some type of miracle anti-aging tool. Rose quartz and jade rollers help to properly massage your face and cool your skin, and I think I’ve done a good job of outlining their benefits here. However, they won’t do anything impossible like completely erase wrinkles or completely change your face shape. That isn’t to say that they have no benefits, they absolutely do. However, if you’re looking for some kind of magic cure, you’ll likely only find it in a surgeon’s office.

If this sounds like the facial roller your skincare routine has been missing, you can check out Herbivore Botanical’s Rose Quartz Facial Roller online at Sephora, as well as their original Jade roller, too!

However, for whatever reason, if you’re looking into purchasing a jade roller elsewhere — I’m going to share with you a little tip I’ve learned for making sure you’re purchasing a proper, good-quality crystal roller.

While I mainly purchased the rose quartz roller for the ~aesthetic~, since I trust Herbivore to provide high-quality tools with proper ingredients, not all Jade roller sellers are quite the same. There’s definitely people out there who sell completely fake jade rollers and price them as though they are made of real jade. Apart from wasting your money, fake jade rollers are often made of glass and do not have the same innate cooling effect (and therefore will not have the same results). However, at any price point your roller likely isn’t real jade — the real deal is awfully expensive. As such, you don’t likely know what exactly your roller is made of.

On the other hand, rose quartz is a much more common and inexpensive crystal, meaning that barring your roller being made of glass, it will more likely be true authentic rose quartz. As well, rose quartz rollers are said to have extra benefits — such as being less influenced by skin temperature and staying cool for longer, as well as more anti-wrinkle benefits. A quick Google search will tell you everything you need to know about the difference between jade and rose-quartz rollers, however, both for the added benefits and the likelihood that you’re getting exactly what you think you are out of the product, I’d have to recommend rose quartz rollers as my personal choice. If you want to know more, Mount Lai has a guidebook online that answers all kinds of questions about crystal rollers and related products!

Are you a fan of using a roller in your skincare routine? I’d love to hear all about how you use yours, what type it is and what results you’ve seen long term! Drop a comment below and share your experience — good or bad! I love hearing all of your different opinions on products that I share.

Stay tuned next week, for the third and final facial tool that I use in my skincare routine! I hope you guys have been enjoying this little series — I know it’s a little different from my usual Thursday reviews, but I’ve really loved putting it together for you guys! I really love using these skincare tools, and since they make up such a large element of my skincare routines, it seemed like it was only right they all get their own posts.

Happy Thursday, everyone! A little reminder to power through tomorrow and finish this week strong! The weekend will be here before we know it.

Much love,

Meredith

My Skincare Routine!

Hey y’all!

At this point, I don’t think I even need to tell you guys how much I love skincare. I’ve been sharing my favourite products, tips and techniques with you all for over a year now — and honestly, if you’re looking for suggestions to build your own routine, it’s pretty fair to be overwhelmed by it all. Skincare is not something that you learn overnight — it takes years of trial and error, learning ingredients, and knowing your skin type to master it. The one problem with skincare is that there is no magic solution, no “one size fits all”. Everyone is different. Some people benefit from the simplest of routines and products, whereas some may need more complex and multitasking products to achieve clear skin. Some people may love their oils, or serums, face masks or creams that other people found to be incompatible with their skin type. And of course — some people are blessed with naturally perfect skin, whereas some people may require help from aestheticians and dermatologists to put them on the right track. (And if you’ve really been struggling — consider seeing a dermatologist! They’re really the most knowledgeable people out there on the subject).

My skincare routine was not something that I came by easily — it honestly took me years to land on staples for the basics alone. From there, I added in different products, with different ingredients to target different things and experimented with how they worked for me. Some products I totally hated, whereas some were almost what I needed — but I had to search through different brands to find the perfect match for my needs.

I’m sharing my routine with you guys not so you can copy it down step by step and and replicate it perfectly (unless you want to, then by all means do!) as because what works for me will not work for everyone. I just wanted to show you all not only the type of products I use and how frequently I use them, and how each product benefits my own skin. As well, I wanted to show the trial and error that went into creating this routine, and how I discovered what worked for me. For reference, my skin is dry/combo — so if you have a similar skin type a lot of these products may work for you as well!

One last little tip — while I am familiar with my skin type and the products that benefit it, it’s not the only important aspects of skincare. We all have specific concerns we try to target that differ between us all, no matter what skin type we have. For those of you who may be starting from scratch — I think what matters most is finding staples that benefit your skin type, and then adding steps in that target your specific concerns. For instance, your face wash, toner, and moisturizer (the three most basic steps) should focus on complimenting your skin type — whether it be oily, dry, normal, or combination. From there, if you have specific concerns, you can try adding in serums, face masks, eye creams, or oils that target these specifically. In terms of my own specific concerns, I buy products that focus on fixing my puffy/dark/hollow under eye area, my dry skin, balancing my t-zone and dry areas, and keeping my skin firm and bright. However, this one is really up to you — it’s really where skincare becomes the most tailored to you personally.

Step #1: Exfoliation

Product: Peter Thomas Roth’s FirmX Peeling Gel Exfoliant

Skin Type: Normal

Use: 1-2 times per week

This product has been my go-to exfoliator for over a year now, and I’m still impressed by it every time. I personally prefer enzyme peel exfoliators to physical exfoliators when it comes to my face — they feel gentler and more effective to me. This exfoliator is my fave because of how easy it is — you just rub it onto your dry face and all your dead skin just rubs away! I’ve never found it irritating, either — it leaves my skin feeling soft and fresh every time.

Buy it at Sephora!

Step #2: Oil Cleanser

Product: Shu Uemera’s Anti/Oxi Skin Refining Cleansing Oil

Skin Type: Good for all skin types

Use: Night

This was a recent addition to my line up — but I already can’t really imagine my routine without it. This oil-based cleanser helps to remove any makeup and impurities from my skin, and I’ve noticed how much cleaner my skin feels ever since I began double-cleansing. Oil-based cleansers can remove pollution-based and other unwanted grime that water-based cleansers cannot — which is why it’s important to use both daily.

Buy it at Sephora!

Step #3: Gel Cleanser

Product: Tula’s Purifying Face Cleanser

Skin Type: Oily, Normal and Dry

Use: Night

This water-based cleanser has been my holy grail face wash for over a year now. Not only is it super effective in terms of removing impurities, it’s gentle and worked well to help clear up my combination skin. Plus, the probiotic element definitely worked wonders on my skin’s natural balance. It’s a bit of a pain to get your hands on in Canada, but the bottle is so large it lasts at least a year.

Buy it at Tula’s Online Store or Nordstrom!

Step #4: Face Masks

Products: Dr Jart+’s Shake and Shot Rubber Masks, Dr Jart+’s Lover Rubber Masks, Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask, Fresh’s Rose Face Mask, Fresh’s Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask

Use: Night

I’ve included a whole bunch of my favourite masks here, so I’ll keep this short and sweet to help keep this as clear as possible. The two Dr Jart+ masks are single use and come in a wide variety of formulations — meaning you can choose whichever one sounds best for you based on your own skincare concerns. Glow Recipe’s mask aims to refine pores and provide light exfoliation while combating dryness and oiliness, leaving skin plump and soft. Fresh’s Rose Face mask is a fantastic and speedy hydration mask — as well, it would work well on sensitive skin, IMO. The other mask by Fresh — their Black Tea Instant Perfecting mask — helps maintain skin’s youthfulness, adds glow and evens out skin textures. All of these face masks work with all skin types, so it just comes down to choosing what you want based on your personal skin concerns. As well, there’s many fantastic masks out there that I have yet to try — masks really are one of the best ways to personalize your skincare and tackle issues that other products don’t address, so experiment and find what works best for you!

Buy it at Sephora! Dr. Jart+ Shake and Shot | Dr. Jart+ Lover Rubber | Glow Recipe | Fresh Rose | Fresh Instant Perfecting

Step #5: Hydrating Toner

Product: Fresh’s Rose Deep Hydration Facial Toner (Original review here!)

Skin Type: Normal, Dry, Combination and Oily

Use: Day and Night

This toner is absolutely fantastic if you’re looking for a non-drying, alcohol-free product to add to your skincare routine. You have to be kind of careful with toners as they can often be sort of drying — but this one definitely has a solid hydration aspect that really helps my skin feel soft and smooth after use. It does a good just of wiping away any excess product or impurities, leaving my skin perfectly clean each night.

Buy it at Sephora!

Step #6: Brightening Toner

Product: Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir

Skin Type: Normal, Oily, Combination and Sensitive

Use: Day and Night

I won’t lie, when I first starting starting using this product I wasn’t really aware it was a toner — hence why I use two! Two toners isn’t at all essential to a good skincare routine, but these have both improved my skin and using them together has made my skin super soft and glowy. At this point, I’m so used to using two toners that I’m just sticking with it — I can’t imagine giving one up because they both help me so much! Plus, neither of these really add much time to my skincare routine so it doesn’t matter much either way.

Buy it at Sephora!

Step #7: Collagen Serum

Product: Murad’s Rapid Collagen Infusion

Skin Type: Normal, Oily, Dry and Combination

Use: Day and Night

I’ve only been using this serum for a few months, but I’m already obsessed. I’ve actually just purchased my second bottle, because I (tragically) have run out of this product already. Not only is this stuff great at anti-aging, but it smells fantastic and keeps my skin looking fresh. Plus, it’s cream formulation makes it easy to apply morning and night without leaving behind any weird residues or messing with my makeup.

Buy it at Sephora!

Step #8: Moisturizer

Product: Clinique’s Moisture Surge 72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator (Original review here!)

Skin Type: Normal, Dry, Combination and Oily

Use: Night

This has been my holy grail moisturizer for as long as I can remember. I just love everything about it — it’s light, non-greasy, leaves behind no residue but still packs a crazy amount of moisture. I love the gel formulation — it just feels so much better than heavy cream-based moisturizers IMO. I really feel like this product is the true definition of “works for all skin types” — I really can’t imagine this moisturizer NOT working well for someone.

Buy it at Sephora!

Step #9: SPF Moisturizer

Product: Origin’s A Perfect World™ SPF 40 Age-Defense Moisturizer with White Tea

Skin Type: Normal, Dry, Combination and Oily

Use: Day

It’s universally true that everyone should be wearing SPF every day. Whether you’re outside all day or not, certain UV rays can still filter inside and cause unseen damage. Better to wear sunscreen now than to pay the price down the road, am I right? This is a great morning moisturizer due to it’s high SPF content, so it’s become a staple for me. I have, with time, found it a little to heavy for my skin, which sometimes leaves it irritated — so I’m probably going to be branching out to new brands in the future. But in the mean time, this is a pretty solid product that adds necessary sun protection to my skin!

Buy it at Sephora!

Step #10: Eye Cream

Product: Glow Recipe’s Avocado Melt Retinol Eye Sleeping Mask

Skin Type: Normal, Dry, Combination, and Oily

Use: Night

Eye cream is super important to my routine, as my under eye area is my biggest area of concern for myself and my skin. I’ve yet to find the perfect eye cream for me, sadly, but this one is overall a pretty great product. I don’t know that I really need to be using retinol on my skin just yet, so it’s not for me, but if retinol is something you’re looking to try I couldn’t recommend it more.

Buy it at Sephora!

Step #11: Lash & Brow Serum

Product: Shiseido’s Full Lash and Brow Serum

Use: Night

Lash serums are another product that I’ve never really found a solid holy-grail product to use consistently over the years — but I finally think I’ve found the one. I’ve actually noticed CRAZY growth in my lashes and brows in the month that I’ve been using this product — for the first time ever, my lashes look really long and healthy, and my brows look nice and full. Plus, the applicator for this product — a doe-foot appliactor — seems a little weird at first, but actually makes applying the product sooooo much easier. I’m worried that I’m going to burn through this product fast since the package is awfully small, but I still think it seems 100% worth it and I’ll definitely be repurchasing.

Buy it at Sephora!

Step #12: Balancing Oil

Product: Herbivore Botanical’s Lapis Balancing Oil

Skin Type: Normal, Oily and Combination

Use: Night

Ugh, I am absolutely obsessed with this stuff. I’ve been using it for a while now, but I still look forward to applying it every night. It’s really helped “cure” my combination skin and has helped eliminate the redness from my complexion. Seriously, if this sounds like the kind of product you need you should give it a go!

Buy it at Sephora!

Step #13: Brightening and Firming Oil

Product: Biossance’s Squalene + Vitamin C Rose Oil (Original review here!)

Skin Type: Normal and Dry

Use: Night

And finally, the last part of my routine — my favourite, holy-grail Vitamin C + Rose Oil. This product really was a game-changer for me. It’s really helped to firm up and brighten my complexion, as well as rebuild my skin’s natural barrier. My incidence rate of zits and blemishes PLUMMETED after I started using this product. If you don’t already have a way to incorporate squalene into your routine, I’d really recommend it — it really changed my skin exceptionally for the better. If this exact product doesn’t sound like what you’re looking for, every product in Biossance’s line includes squalene — so you can take your pick from a crazy range of skincare products!

Buy it at Sephora!

Final Steps

Use: Night

Finally, after I’m done with all my skincare, I finish up for the night with a handful of final steps — I moisturize my body and hands, apply my usual hair oil, rub on a thick coat of lip balm and slick castor oil over my lashes. This way, I can guarantee that not just my face, but my whole body is hydrated and cared for — which leaves me looking and feeling my best.

And there you have it! My skincare routine is rather extensive, I’ll admit — I’m pretty high maintenance. However, that doesn’t mean that you need as complex of a routine to achieve clear skin! Some people honestly benefit most from simplicity — it really just depends. However, I hope you all got a little inspo from this post, or learned something new about skincare! To me, skincare is the ultimate beauty tool and self-care ritual, so I’m really happy to finally be sharing my whole routine with you all.

What do your skincare routines look like? I’d love to hear about all of your all-time fave products, as well as if any of the products mentioned above are part of your day-to-day routine! While I do love my routine, I’m always open to suggestions — so I’d love to hear which products you couldn’t live without!

Have a lovely week, babes! Sending good vibes all of your ways — hopefully everything goes amazing!

Much love,

Meredith

Thursday Favourites: July 16th

Hey friends!

Happy Thursday! I hope everyone is having a productive and positive week — and if not, at least it’s almost Friday! I’ve still been feeling a little low on motivation lately, but the weather has finally started to turn around in Vancouver and feel like summer (which is kind of a huge blessing, but I also don’t have AC in my apartment, so it’s a bit of a curse, too). However, I’m kind of hoping to find some motivation and turn the second half of July around — there’s still time!

This week, I’m returning to more regular content and sharing a brand-new product with you all. I wanted to share a product that I’ve only started using recently, but have quickly fallen in love with. Have you ever stumbled across a product that filled a void in your skincare or makeup routine that you didn’t even know existed? Yeah, that’s this product for me: Milk Makeup’s Hydro Grip Primer.

Not that I wasn’t using primer before — that would be crazy. I just didn’t know how much primers could DO before I tried this product. I honestly just tried it on a bit of a whim — I didn’t really need a new primer just yet at the time, but as this product grew in popularity I began seeing it popping up everywhere and decided I had to try it. I had been feeling just so-so on my old primer for a while — it was fine, but it was more of a moisturizer than something to really keep makeup in place. I already have more than enough moisturizers in my skincare routine, so I felt it was time to branch out and try something new (after all, I can always put down a layer of my everyday moisturizer before my primer to fill the need).

I really didn’t know what to expect when I tried out the Hydro Grip primer — I’d been using my last primer for years, and I honestly didn’t remember what it felt like to USE other primers with my makeup. (I guess Tarte’s Timeless Smoothing Primer would be the exception, which I only used on special occasions — but I still stand by and love). And while it wasn’t like my old primer had no grip to it whatsoever, I definitely did NOT know what grip really felt like until I gave this primer a go.

This primer is almost like a layer of glue that keeps your makeup stuck down on your face once you apply it. That definitely sounds like a bit of a weird way to describe something, because it does sound a little unpleasant, but I swear it’s not. This primer is also super lightweight, and once you’ve applied your makeup you absolutely cannot feel it, so don’t let the whole “glue” thing deter you — it really just means that it’s going to help your makeup stay put all day. (Which it does do an amazing job at — I can’t wait to be able to go out more and really test out what this stuff can do because while I’ve gotten a chance to see it in action, all the reviews say this stuff keeps your makeup in place like no other).

As well, this product does an amazing job of smoothing out skin and adding a little boost of hydration — which are two things I find are really important for a primer to do. There’s nothing I hate more than the look of my makeup when my foundation settles in to every fine line, pore, and bump — it really drives me crazy, as sometimes it actually makes my skin look WORSE than it did without makeup. As well, as someone who’s prone to dry skin, I’ll take any and every moisturizing product I can when it comes to my makeup routine. Overall, this product really helps my skin and makeup look smooth and fresh, while also keeping my makeup locked down all day long.

If this sounds like the primer you’ve been needing in your life, be sure to check it out at Sephora!

Stay tuned for this weekend’s post, where I’m going to be sharing with you all how to have a productive self-care day! It’s hard to carve out time for self-care when you’re feeling overwhelmed with life — but with my day plan, there’s ways to achieve both at once! That way, for those of us feeling little overwhelmed lately (I know I certainly am) you can kill two birds with one stone and relax AND get ahead on your tasks!

Much love,

Meredith

Thursday Favourites: July 9th

Hey friends!

Happy Thursday! This week I’m going to be sharing my last little re-share of my favourite products that I shared at the beginning of my blog. As I’ve mentioned in my last few posts (just in case you missed it), I’ve been re-writing reviews that I wrote on some of my all-time favourite products. Back in the first few months of my blog, I shared numerous posts on products that have been some of my truest, holy-grail products that I really feel I didn’t do justice at the time. Seriously — most of these products I’ve been using religiously for years. However, a year later with more writing experience, blogging knowledge, and audience outreach under my belt, I felt it was only right to share these products with you guys!

This week’s product is one I’m sure many of you are already a little familiar with — Urban Decay’s All-Nighter Setting Spray with Pollution Protection! Urban Decay, overall, is pretty well known for their setting spray — hence why I’m sure, if you’re a regular makeup user, you’ve at least heard of/tried out one of their setting sprays before. Over the years, I’ve actually tried pretty much every single one of their setting sprays at some time or another — but this one is definitely my fave.

What makes this setting spray stand out to me among the rest is, first and foremost, how effective it is. This stuff has held up my makeup even in the most extreme situations. Even within more “normal” situations, I’ve gone long days without makeup touch-ups, gone to hot and sweaty night clubs, and even on occasion accidentally slept with my makeup on — and honestly, with this setting spray, it doesn’t budge. However, if we’re talking REAL extremes — this product has helped my makeup through everything from the rainiest days on my vacation to Disney this past winter, to the absolutely glaring sun when I went to the Calgary Stampede a few summers back. It kept my makeup intact during long days at Fvded, the popular BC Music festival, and even survived the hottest, muggiest days during my trip to South East Asia. Basically, this stuff works miracles. I don’t know how it managed to hold my makeup together through all these situations, but I sure am grateful for it!

The other thing I adore about this particular setting spray, however, is the added Environmental Protection. One of the biggest causes of skin problems is the fact that our skin is constantly taking in air pollutants, which damage and irritate the skin. I’ve found that, ever since I’ve started using this setting spray, the incidence of bad skin days I’ve had has gone down immensely. Just having that little extra layer of protection when I go out has really changed my skin for the better. While the original formula All-Nighter setting spray is definitely a classic, I just feel this product takes it a little farther, adds even more, and just makes it that much better.

If this sounds like the setting spray you’ve been looking for, be sure to check out at Sephora!

I hope you’re all having a great start to July! Also, my apologies for my only half-finished post last weekend. Stuff has been a little hectic this week and I was feeling a little overwhelmed with the job hunt and all. However, I already have this Sunday’s post written up and ready to go, so I promise it won’t happen again!

Have a fantastic end of the week my loves,

Best,

Meredith

Thursday Favourites: July 2nd

Hey friends!

Today I’m going to be sharing another one of my absolute favourite skincare products. I’ll be honest — this one has been a staple in my routine for so long that I actually don’t even remember when I started using it. I do know, however, that it was at least six years ago — making it the skincare product I’ve been using for the longest. I guess branching out and trying new stuff can be important, but in this case when I really think I’ve found the perfect holy-grail product — why mess with a good thing?

The product I’m talking about is Clinique’s Moisture Surge 72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator, which has been my moisturizer for as long as I can remember at this point. Before I even describe what makes this product so damn good, I should mention the fact that I’ve stuck with this moisturizer unwaveringly for 6+ years — which should kind of speak for itself about how utterly amazing it is.

I’ll be honest — I’m the kind of person who’s often super indecisive, and I feel like when it comes to sticking with one product continuously, it really shows. I’m constantly getting distracted by products that are shiny and new, even if I know that what I’m using is so much better for my personal needs. So many elements of skincare, at some point or another, I’ve ended up experimenting with a bit even if I adore the product that I’ve been using for the long term — but not with moisturizer. Since buying this product for the first time I have stuck with it, unwaveringly, for years. With the exception of free samples, I have never purchased any other moisturizer since I first tried this one out, since I know without a doubt it’s just about as good as it gets.

My favourite part about this moisturizer is it’s formulation — it’s a super lightweight gel, instead of a cream like many moisturizers are. Even though my skin tends to air on the drier side, I’ve never been a fan of heavier moisturizers — I hate how heavy they are on my skin. I kind of find that they leave a layer that I can feel all day long, which I’m really not a fan of. It’s almost as if they never feel as if they’ve dried in. Even lightweight creams seem to leave a little film behind, but unlike cream moisturizers, once this moisturizer has set in it’s as if it was never there. It dries incredibly quickly, too, because of how light it is. There’s no waiting with this one — it sets quickly and then it’s good to go.

The other thing that’s truly amazing about this product is how much hydration it packs into such a small amount of product. It isn’t watery, like so many other gel moisturizers — it actually leaves your skin feeling super hydrated and healthy. This moisturizer, which is effective for up to 72 hours (!!!), contains caffeine, hyaluronic acid, activated aloe watering a “Super-Holding Matrix of Humectants and Polymers” to helps support skin’s own rehydration system, plump the look of skin and reduce water loss and seal in moisture, according to Sephora’s site. Basically, this stuff is magical and works wonders on the skin without leaving your skin feeling congested, coated or gross. (I told you — it really takes a perfect product for me to stick with it for 6 whole years without question!).

If this sounds like the moisturizer you’ve been waiting for, check it out on Sephora!

I hope you all have been kicking off July on the right foot! It’s been crazy cold and rainy in Vancouver the last two days, but I’ve been trying my best to make the most of it. I’ve been a little lazy, I won’t lie — but I do have a good feeling about this month. If you have any big plans or goals for July, drop a comment below! I’d love to hear what you’re all up to lately.

Much love,

Meredith