Hope you’re all having an amazing week! Honestly, my motivation has been pretty low this week, but I’m trying to power through it and get things done so I can enjoy the last few weeks of summer. Can anyone else believe it’s already nearly September? I swear, the timeline of this year has been all over the place. New Years Eve feels so recent, but thinking back to March feels like another lifetime ago — it’s really been a rollercoaster of a year.
It’s hard to feel like I’ve really been taking advantage of summer since we’re all supposed to be spending so much time inside — I guess it’s just a part of 2020’s reality we’ll have to accept, but this summer really has flown by without me even noticing it. I feel as though summer has just begun, even though we’re kind of nearing the end of it, and I guess it’s because I haven’t really done much during these summer months this year. Especially when I was in university, summer was a time of freedom, friends and exploring. Even with summer classes, summer jobs, or both, I always spent all kinds of time with friends and outside, and I usually went on one mini-adventure every summer. This year, however, between my wisdom tooth surgeries, lockdowns, and job-hunting, summer has passed me by without me even noticing it.
With summer coming to a close, I haven’t really gotten the chance to sit out in the sun and enjoy it (and likely won’t, now that I have a fresh tattoo — I guess it’ll depend how long into September the weather stays sunny and warm). However, it’s still nice to sport a nice, healthy sun-kissed glow — even if you haven’t gotten a chance to leave your house much this year.
I’m certainly no stranger when it comes to self-tanners, and I’ve tried a few out over the years with very mixed results. Every single tanner I’ve tried has had some sort of flaw that made it difficult to use. Where one would be a dark coloured cream that would apply evenly, yet stain my sheets — another would apply clear and develop over a few hours — but always seemed to turn out streaky (and often smelt terrible). It was always a bit of an uphill battle constantly fighting against smelling of fake tanner or keeping my white sheets unstained.
However, I feel as though I’ve finally found the solution. I’d been hearing about these new face tanning drops for a while now — it felt like so many people I knew had tried them out. I’d been hearing good reviews, so I decided to give them a go for myself.
Something pretty cool about these Isle of Paradise and their tanning products is that they come in three shades — light, medium and dark. I opted for light, since I didn’t really know how they were going to look, but I’d definitely go for medium next time around. These drops are fantastic due to their versatility — they’re made to be added to moisturizer, so you can choose exactly how dark you want to go and simply add them to your other daily products. Something that’s always frustrated me about self-tanners is how it can be challenging and annoying to use them on your body AND moisturize, but using them individually isn’t as good a moisturizer as creams. However, since using this product just means adding it into my usual moisturizer, it’s been no problem using this product daily. As well, I’d absolutely NEVER put self-tanner on my face — my whole body cringes imagining what that would do to my skin. However, I’ve found this product is gentle enough that mixed in with my usual Clinique moisturizer, it doesn’t have any ill effects on my skin whatsoever.
Another thing I adore about this product is how it doesn’t rub off and stain everything you own, while it also doesn’t have any nasty fake-tan smell to it. I usually find most tanning products either have one or the other, but this one actually manages to avoid both. It’s nearly clear and doesn’t tan your skin through simply staining it darker (which is what I find often leads to it marking up your clothes and sheets) and doesn’t particularly have much of a smell to it, so it just ends up smelling like whatever product you’ve chosen to mix it with.
So far, I’m totally obsessed with this product. Between how totally customizable they are, paired with the fact they seem to have solved the problems that arise with most other self-tanners, they’re a huge win in my books. To top it all off, I’ve yet to have any issues with streaking or uneven tanning. This product looks SO natural, I almost was worried it wasn’t working at first since unlike so many other tanners I’ve tried, it didn’t streak or look orange. It really just looks like a light tan — as if you’ve just naturally gotten a bit of colour by going about your day-to-day life (minus the weird tan lines). If you wanted a more dramatic effect, you can always go for a darker shade or a higher volume of drops-to-moisturizer, as well. It’s completely up to you!
If this sounds like the self-tanner you’ve been needing, be sure to check out Isle of Paradise at Sephora!
I hope you all get the chance to enjoy the last few weeks of the summer to the fullest! I’m a little sad and bewildered by how fast this summer went, but at the same time, I won’t lie — I love Fall, and I’m starting to get pretty fired up for some cozy Autumn vibes. (Out of curiosity, what are your favourite seasons? Mine is summer, but the older I get the more I start to prefer Fall … I love the carefree summer feeling and the warm weather of summer. On the other hand, I hate when it gets too hot, and I love Fall clothes, holidays, cozy vibes, the changing leaves and basically everything else Fall has to offer (except the rain, of course). Anyways, I digress. Let me know in the comments below what your fave season is!).
Today, I’m going to be sharing the final tool I use in my skin care routine: the classic jade Gua Sha! Now, unlike the other tools, my current Gua Sha is just one I picked up from Amazon when this trend first came out, and I was looking to give it a try but not feeling ready to commit. However, at this point in my skincare tool journey, I’ve been looking into purchasing a new one — and I’ve had my eye on Mount Lai’s Gua Sha in particular. Even though I don’t exactly have a specific brand to share with you all at the moment, I still wanted to share what it is exactly that I love so much about the Gua Sha as a skincare tool, as truth be told, it’s my favourite out of all three.
The Gua Sha, unlike crystal rollers, is a simple curved jade tool that is used to help massage, brighten, and even sculpt the face. Unlike jade rollers, which can help with many of these but area ultimately a tool for de-puffing and soothing skin, the gua sha can really help to boost circulation and really physically push blockages down the lymphatic system. Most importantly, however, it can really help to break up muscle tension in the face, release tight areas and relax the skin of the face.
However, what makes me love this tool the most is how it actually provides a deep massage for your face. When you use this tool, you can actually feel your facial tension slowly being released and your circulation being boosted immediately (I always love the little tingly feeling you get post massage when you know it worked). Especially when it comes to areas that can contain some serious and deep-rooted knots and strain, such as your jawline, cheekbones, eyebrows, and temples, you can feel this tool popping knots and actually making a difference in your skin. Plus, relieving facial tension will help you feel more relaxed by proxy — just as being stressed will increase tension in your face, the psuedo-placebo effect of having knots in your face will cause you to believe (and therefore feel) stressed out.
And, as promised — I wanted to share a little about skincare tools that you should typically avoid as well. Now, obviously, if you’ve already been using these tools and they work for you, by all means keep using them. But rest assured, I will be explaining why to avoid them and what it is that makes them poorly suited for use of your face.
The first tool that generally should be avoided are the vacuum-style electric tools advertised to remove all the excess dirt from your pores. While I love a good deep-clean as much as the next person, these types of machines (as with basically every other method I’m going to mention) should really only be performed by a professional. There are all kind of face masks you can use to combat blackheads and clogged pores safely at home, but these tools are not only dangerous to use in terms of damaging your skin with their powerful suction — but also, you’re not trained to use them. Aestheticians go to school for a reason — these tools are challenging to use, and when used improperly can do more harm than good.
Another tool I’d generally recommend staying away from are Micro-Needle facial rollers. Once again, these types of procedures can have numerous benefits and stunning results when performed by a professional, but you should avoid attempting this one at home. Not only does the “roller” style of micro needling damage your skin, but without the proper tools to care for and sanitize your roller, all you’ll be doing is pushing bacteria that collects on the needles deep into your skin. When this procedure is performed as part of a facial, the needles are administered straight onto your skin, and the quick and direct in-and-out movement is what helps to avoid harm to the delicate skin of your face. When you use a needle roller, however, the rolling action drags the needle through your skin, creating micro-tears — which are damaging, ineffective and can even lead to scarring.
The last technique is one that I have actually tried myself, so I can speak on my own personal experiences. Microdermabrasion is a technique that has become all the rage lately, and many people try to get similar effects at home with face razors — which definitely work for some people but do require a lot of care to be used properly. While I’ve used face razors in the past on my upper brows and upper lip, there’s a couple of things you need to consider if you’re actually going to try to use a face razor on the entirety of your face.
First of all, you’ll want to make sure you know what you’re doing — so make sure to do a little research, or maybe watch a couple YouTube videos first. Second of all, you’ll want to be sure you have a good, clean and sharp razor that’ll be safe to use on your face. Finally, you’ll want to consider that there’s risks to performing this by yourself (since, once again, you’re not a professional). Shaving off your peach fuzz will make it easier to apply makeup, sure, but scraping away at your face too much can create micro-tears (or full-size cuts), ingrown hairs, and most importantly — when you remove hair from the hair follicle, it leaves it open and vulnerable to dirt and other foreign substances to make their way into your skin. Basically, I wouldn’t recommend this one either — I never used it myself more than five times, and I haven’t tried it in about a year (nor would I bother to again). Basically, what I’m trying to say is be careful with skincare tools; while some are useful, others may be damaging and should only be used by aestheticians and dermatologists. Be sure to pick what you use on your face carefully!
And there you have it! I hope you enjoyed this little segment on skincare tools — I know it’s been a little different from my normal content, so hopefully you all felt you learned something new from these last three posts. If you have any fave skincare tools of your own, drop a comment below and tell me all about them! As well, if you’ve been inspired to try any of these tools out for yourself, I’d love to hear how they work for you!
Happy Thursday, everyone! I hope August is treating you well. I know everyone’s been talking all year about how strangely time has been moving, but I really can’t believe it’s August already. I feel like the last three months specifically have been such a blur, but on the bright side — we only have four months left until we get a fresh start with 2021! I don’t want to jinx anything, but fingers crossed things will feel a lot more normal by then.
Love you all,
UPDATE: Got my hands on the Mount Lai Gua Sha in Rose Quartz, I’m in love!
Today marks the first post of a little three-part series I’m going to be sharing with you all: my favourite skincare tools! For those of you who are into skincare, I’m sure you’re already aware of many kinds of skincare tools out there — in fact, you’ll probably already be familiar with the kinds of tools I’ll be sharing. However, I wanted to share what it is about these products by each specific brand that makes them even better than the rest!
To kick off this little series, I’m sharing one of my nighttime skincare tools — the Jade Textured Facial Roller by Mount Lai. I stumbled across this product on Sephora’s website randomly when searching for a new jade roller, and I’m SO glad I did. What makes this little jade roller so special is that it’s textured surface helps to gently massage the face, relieving facial tension (which I have plenty of, tbh).
Face massages are kind of a necessary thing, but a difficult task to perform yourself — you don’t want to pull or stretch your skin too much or you may risk damaging it. That why I love this little tool here so much — it’s so gentle, and the smooth stone surface doesn’t tug your skin at all (not even in the most delicate of areas). Plus, this jade roller is super cool to the touch, which is always lovely and refreshing. As well, since I tend to use this roller at night, I feel like it really helps to press all my skincare products into my skin to help them absorb. One of the main intentions of this product, rather than deputing, is to help your skincare products penetrate more deeply into the skin (hence why I use it at night, when I do my main skincare routine). The texture of this roller really helps me to get the full benefits of the products I’m putting on my face.
Even though this little massage tool is gentle, it totally works. Whenever I use it, I get that classic tingly feeling afterward when your skin has been stimulated and tension has been released, allowing blood to flow throughout your skin easily. I’m a chronic jaw-clencher; whenever I get stressed my face feels the impact. However, even if that’s not the case for you, facial massages are a really important part of maintaining healthy, glowing skin. And if nothing else, getting a little massage everyday feels fantastic and adds a little self-care to your skincare routine!
If this textured jade roller sounds like the skincare tool your routine has been missing, you can find it online at Sephora!
Stay tuned for next week’s post, where I’ll be sharing another one of my favourite skincare tools! As well, I’ll be detailing some more over the course of the series which kind of skincare tools you should avoid, as well as how to choose a good jade roller if you decide to go with a different brand.
I’m so excited to be sharing this little series with you all — I hope you all love reading it as much as I loved putting it together! If you have some skincare tools that you love and want to share, drop a comment below! I’d love to hear what you guys are using, or what brands you’ve purchased skincare tools from that you love.
As always, I hope you guys are having a fantastic week. I’m starting to feel a little more productive again, and just overall a little more like myself. While I’ve definitely still been neglecting to put as much time and effort into my blog over the last month as I would have liked, I did hit an important milestone — I’ve reached 5,000 views on my blog in 2020! While it’s not a huge achievement, and I have a looooong way to go to hit my end of year goals, it’s nice knowing that no matter how tough this year has been that I’m still making progress.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.