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: May 28th

Hey guys!

This post is going to be a bit of a first — it’s a little different from my usual Thursday reviews. I’ve been using Glow Recipe’s Avocado Melt Retinol Sleeping Eye Mask for about a month now, and while I absolutely adore it — I won’t be repurchasing. I have my reasons, though, and I would still vouch for the quality and performance of this product. While it may not be the product for me, there’s many people this product would be useful for — so I’m sharing it in hopes that it may be the product some of you have been searching for!

Anyone who’s been following my blog for a while probably already knows this, but when it comes to skincare my biggest concern is my under eye area. The skin under my eyes has always been chronically puffy, saggy and dark — it has absolutely nothing to do with my sleep or health. I’ve spent years looking for some magical eye cream that will solve all my problems — but sadly, I’ve yet to find it. Lately, I’ve been branching out in terms of ingredients used in my skincare products, hoping that trying out new things may open up possibilities for what works best on my face. One that I’ve been hearing about time and time again is Retinol — a synthesized Vitamin A ingredient meant to combat dark spots and aging.

I decided to test out this eye mask by Glow Recipe, as I was super curious about their brand (which I hadn’t tried at the time, but I’m now super in love with). I knew retinol probably wasn’t the ingredient I was looking for — my dark under eye circles are clearly not related to hyperpigmentation — but I still wanted to give it a shot.

Let’s start off with what I loved about this product. First of all, this stuff is SO creamy and luxurious. It feels so silky when you apply it — which is lovely. I was worried about it’s heavier texture at first, as I’m prone to milia under my eyes, but this cream didn’t even clog up my pores in the slightest. I’m often not a fan of how super thick and creamy products feel on my face, but this eye mask doesn’t give that suffocating feeling of other heavy products — which is amazing. Second of all, this stuff totally packs a lot of great nourishing and hydrating ingredients in it’s formulation. I’ve definitely noticed my under eyes are looking and feeling pretty smooth and hydrated lately, so that’s a win. Overall, my under eye area is definitely looking pretty bright and even ever since I started using this product, and I’d definitely vouch for it as an overall amazing eye cream.

The reason I won’t be repurchasing this specific eye mask is because retinol isn’t something I particularly need in my skincare routine (at least, not yet). While this eye cream is amazing for so many reasons — there are probably eye creams out there better suited to my personal needs. However, this doesn’t stop this product from being absolutely bomb — and if you’ve been looking to get into retinol-based skincare, I would totally recommend trying out some of Glow Recipe’s line. I’m totally obsessed with their all-natural products and the AMAZING results they give. When it comes time to start introducing retinol to my daily routine in the future, I’m definitely going to be giving the face mask version of this product a try.

If you’ve been looking to give retinol a try and don’t know where to start, or if this eye cream sounds like it addresses your skin’s specific needs, I honestly couldn’t recommend this product more. If you want to check it out for yourself, you can find it online at Sephora here!

As a final note before I go — I’m now about halfway through this eye cream so I’m going to be needing some recommendations for what to try next! Drop a comment below with your current eye cream or favourite product you’ve tried — I’d love to hear all your suggestions! In the meantime, I hope you’re all doing well. Stay tuned this Sunday to read all about my June Bullet Journal, and what I’m changing up this month to help me move through another crazy and unpredictable month — especially with how different June will be now that things are opening back up!

Much love,

Meredith

Thursday Favourites: May 14th

Hey y’all!

Soooooo……. it’s finally happening. For those of you who’ve been following my blog for a while now, you’ll probably already know what this post is about. I have one certain product that has made it’s way on to countless self-care, best product and gift lists without ever having an official post all to itself. Seriously, post after post I find myself mentioning this product — its ended up being mentioned in more of my posts over the last year than I can even keep track of. However, when I tried this product for the first time ever almost exactly a year ago, I wrote a sort of mini-review and it made me feel as though I had already covered it. For a while, I thought giving it a slot in my Thursday Favourites segment was a little redundant. However, it’s become clear over the last year of my blogging journey that not only does this product deserve a post of it’s own on account of how much I rave about it constantly, but at this point the original post was shared so long ago that I’m sure you could all use a little refresher. Plus, with both some improved writing skills and a much deeper familiarity of this product under my belt, I’m hoping this post will do it more justice.

If you haven’t already figured it out, the product I’m referring to is Herbivore’s Crushed Amethyst Body Polish — a staple in my collection and one of my all-time favourites. This was the product that launched my Herbivore obsession, and finally gave me a holy-grail body exfoliator after years of constantly testing and tossing different products with no success. I never had an exfoliator I had purchased more than once — every one I tried had either been too expensive, ineffective, hard to find or just kind of meh overall. Each time, after I used one up, the hunt was on for which one I would try next, which for someone who exfoliates regularly, got pretty exhausting.

While I mentioned in my original post that after just one (yes, seriously) use of Herbivore’s body scrub not only was I in love, but I was fairly certain I was sold on it for life, I don’t think I really realized how true that was. But now, nearly a year later, a brand new jar just arrived in my latest Sephora order and I’m just as excited to start a fresh jar as I was when I first tried it. This stuff is hands down the best body scrub I’ve ever used — but don’t feel the need to just take my word on it blindly, because I’m about to tell you all the reasons why.

First of all — the actual scrub aspect of this product is amazing. The scrub particles aren’t too big that they’re ineffective or painful, but aren’t too small either. Never once has this product left me with little scratches all over my body, which I can’t say for every exfoliator I’ve tried. However, something I really love most is that the particles don’t really dissolve — something I’ve noticed with many other body scrubs is how the “scrub” element melts away as soon as the product mixes with water — meaning you have to use a lot more of the product to get the job done. As Herbivore’s Body Polish is actually made with real crushed Amethyst, the scrub doesn’t melt away, meaning you waste less and get your money’s worth.

Another thing about this product that has me obsessed is how HYDRATING it is. Something that I find to be an important aspect of an exfoliator is ingredients, such as oils, that soak into your skin as you use the product, which help both to keep the exfoliator from being too harsh and leave your skin feeling soft AF. My skin has never felt softer than it does fresh out of the shower when I’ve just used my Amethyst scrub — between how effective it is at exfoliating away everything it should and how incredibly hydrating and absorbent it’s ingredients are, my skin feels baby-smooth every time.

Lastly, I just wanted to give a little shout-out to how amazing this product smells!!! Because I’m absolutely obsessed with the scent. This product smells EXACTLY like lilacs, which is one of my all-time favourite scents. It’s fresh and calming, and for myself — very nostalgic as it reminds me of the lilac trees outside of my home in Toronto. For those of you who aren’t crazy about scented products, don’t worry — it isn’t super strong. It’s not anything overwhelming or heavy, just the lightest amount of perfume that really makes this product absolutely heavenly. (Plus, everything Herbivore makes is both vegan and cruelty-free, so you really can’t go wrong).

If this sounds like the body scrub you’ve been needing, you can check it out online at Sephora here! As well, Herbivore also carries a Coco Rose body scrub if that sounds like something you’d prefer. However, as someone who’s tried both, I’d definitely the Amethyst scrub — the Coco Rose’s scrubbing particles are much finer and dissolve a lot more easily, plus I MUCH prefer the scent of the Amethyst scrub. Not to say the Coco Rose isn’t fantastic as well — but between the two, the Amethyst scrub is the clear winner to me.

I hope you guys are all doing well! I’m finally starting to feel like I’m beginning to get back into a good rhythm with blogging, so hopefully I’ll be more active again soon once I get ahead on my blogging schedule. Just in time, too — we’re going to start lifting restrictions in BC soon! Fingers crossed I’ll be able to keep up all the good habits I’ve started once we start to return to normal life.

Much love,

Meredith

Thursday Favourites: April 30th

Hey y’all!

Happy last day of April — it’s been a long month, but we’re finally almost through! 2020 has certainly been a strange year so far, but hopefully May will bring good news and good weather and we can all start to feel a little normal again.

But back to the topic at hand — today’s product! This week kicks off a bit of a two-part segment I wanted to share on the face wash products I use. I’ve recently gotten into double cleansing and I have to say, I’m really into it. I was always worried before I tried it about it damaging my skin somehow or being too time consuming to keep up with every night. But when I finally took the leap and gave it a shot, all my worries about it melted away — not only did it really not add much time and effort to my skincare routine, but the oil cleanser I decided on was non-striping and so far hasn’t effected my skin negatively in any way.

When I was choosing which cleanser I wanted to use, I decided to go for Shu Uemera’s Anti/Oxi Skin Refining Cleansing Oil. If your going to start double cleansing, the general idea is to choose an oil/balm type cleanser as your first product and a water-based cleanser as your second. This way, the oil-based cleanser can break down any makeup and dirt, keeping them from clogging up your pores. As well, oil cleansers work surprisingly well to balance the oils in your skin, meaning that (unintuitive as it sounds) it works great for those with oily skin as well. From there, you’d use your regular water-based cleanser based on your skin’s specific needs, which will help remove any stubborn remaining particles from your skin and ensure you’ve washed away all the oils from the first cleansing.

I chose Shu Uemura as I’d actually used one of their cleansers before, a couple years ago. It had been recommended to me by someone at Sephora, and while I really liked it, I was always a little unsure if I was using it properly. Double cleansing wasn’t a concept I had heard of at the time, so I used it as my sole face wash. I shied away from using too much product as I was worried about making my skin oily (spoiler alert: it never happened) and ultimately ended up switching to a water-based cleanser a few months later.

However, since I was already familiar with the product and I knew it was one that worked for me, I decided to give it another go. This time, I had a lot more confidence that I was using the product correctly, and so far it’s been working out better than I expected. While I admittedly haven’t actually worn makeup once since social distancing was enacted (yet…I wrote this post about a week in advance of posting and I’m hoping to have some time to practice my makeup skills over the next few days) the few times before that I used this product to remove makeup it seemed to work out well. By the end of my second cleansing, all traces of makeup seemed to have been wiped away. Now, I’ve only gotten to test this cleanser’s makeup removing abilities about three times, but when I try it out some more I’ll be sure to report back and update you all on if it works as well as I remembered.

On top of that, this product has been doing a great job of keeping my skin clear and blemish-free. I have had a very stressful couple of months and even with all my stress and occasionally opting to get right to bed and letting my nighttime routine slide, my skin hasn’t looked much worse for wear. The cleanser itself is super lightweight and rich, so while it does everything that an oil-based cleanser should do it isn’t particularly challenging to wash off and my skin certainly hasn’t gotten any oiler since I began using it. For reference — my skin is somewhat combination, but overall it’s definitely on the drier side, in case you were considering if this product would work for your skin’s specific needs.

If you’ve been looking to try double cleansing out for yourself and think this product sounds right for you, be sure to check out Shu Uemera’s Anti/Oxi Cleansing Oil at Sephora! (They also have five other oil-based cleansers, so if you want to try the brand but are looking for something different based on your skin type, they have plenty of options.)

Are any of you guys fans of double-cleansing? I’d love to hear about what products you used, and what the results were when you tried it. Stay tuned for next week’s post, where I’m going to be sharing my holy grail water-based cleanser, which has been a staple in my skincare routine for over a year now.

Have a great week, you guys! I hope you’re all as excited for May as I am — while life is super unpredictable right now, take some time to write out your goals for the month to help keep you on track! If you’re feeling a little lost on how to do this, feel free to check out my post I shared on bullet journaling and keeping track of your life during Social Distancing!

Much love,

Meredith

Thursday Favourites: April 23rd

Hey y’all!

Today I wanted to share with you a little product that’s been an absolute lifesaver for me. You guys already know how obsessed I am with FabFitFun, and how I’ve discovered so many products from it that I’ve incorporated into my everyday life and routine. Today, I wanted to share one of those products with you, and why I love it so much.

The product in question is Murad’s Rapid Collagen Infusion, which I received in my spring box back in March. This product immediately got my attention, as collagen is such an important aspect of skincare and I was looking for a holy-grail skincare product to add collagen into my everyday routine. And, spoiler alert! — I finally found it, because this stuff is absolutely dreamy.

First of all, this stuff smells amazing — it has a nice, light scent that I have a bit of trouble placing my finger on. It’s very refreshing, though, and really helps me feel awake when I apply it in the mornings.

But most importantly, this stuff WORKS. I’ll admit that, obviously, I’m not that old, and wrinkles and fine lines aren’t much of an issue for me yet. However, this serum filled any that I had right in and has even helped my dark, puffy under eye area — which you guys all know is something that I’ve been struggling to fix. Not only that, but the lightweight cream formulation of this serum absorbs quickly, leaving your skin feeling fresh, and not greasy like some serums can.

If this sounds like the serum your skin has been needing, you can find it online at Murad here!

As well, if you’ve been wanting to grab a FabFitFun box of your own, click here and use the code SPRINGLOVE for $10 off your first box with my affiliate link!

I hope you’re all having a fantastic week! Drop a comment below with how you’ve been keeping yourself busy with social distancing — I’d love to get some fresh ideas! This week has been huge for me catching up on my blogging, as well as getting back in touch with friends now that my finals are over.

Much love (and stay safe out there!),

Meredith