Thursday Favourites: July 23rd

Hey y’all!

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.

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 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

Thursday Favourites: June 25th

Hey y’all!

This week, I wanted to share a review on another product that I initially posted about when I first started up my blog, that I believe could use another post to really do it justice. As I mentioned last week, I’ve been wanting to re-write out some of my old Thursday Favourite posts from when I first started my blog, where I covered a lot of my all-time favourite products in my very first posts. However, not only do I believe my writing has come a long way since then — but my audience has grown a lot, too. Since so many of these original products are some of the best I’ve ever tried, I feel like it’s worthwhile sharing them again now that there’s so many more of you to potentially benefit from learning about them!

This week’s product I’ll be sharing is Fresh’s Rose Deep Hydration Toner. Toner is one of those aspects of skincare that’s a little confusing to most people; while being considered a bit of a staple in terms of skincare products, most people don’t really know what it is or what it’s purpose is meant to be. To put it simply — toner is essentially just the final step in removing any excess grime and dirt from your skin. When used daily, it helps to refine the look of pores, too — and some even describe it as a primer for all your other skincare products, to help them work more effectively.

The main reason people who tend to avoid toners do what they do, is that not so long ago, the main component of toners was usually just alcohol. I’m sure many of you may remember, as I definitely do, using toners 10+ years ago that stung your face, smelt super harsh, and dried out your skin to no end. Toners, not so long ago, essentially just used alcohol to essentially sterilize your skin. However, not only is that super unnecessary and can throw your skin totally off balance, alcohol is incredibly drying — and generally should be avoided in skincare products.

Luckily, toners have come a looooong way since then. Nowadays, toners can provide that last gentle cleansing step while balancing your skin and even adding moisture and a wide array of other beneficial ingredients. However, not all toners are created equal — or even alcohol-free — so it’s a good idea to find a gentle one that’s suited to your skin.

This is, essentially, exactly what I love about Fresh’s Rose Deep Hydration toner. Not only is it non-stripping and alcohol free, it’s formulated with hyaluronic acid to really help pack a lot of hydration into one single step of your skincare routine. Using this product always leaves my skin feeling refreshed yet deeply nourished — it can even be a good way to help it feel cleansed if my skin is feeling a little worse-for-wear before it’s time to wash my face at night. It’s hard to describe a product that you can feel just wiping dirt away with a single step that manages to not only not leave your skin feeling stripped or unbalanced, but rather actively hydrated and refreshed. It really is the perfect primer for all your other skincare products, and best of all — it’s pretty much perfect for all skin types.

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

I hope you guys are all having a great week! And if not, keep in mind that it is the last week of June after all, and we’re about to hit the halfway point of 2020 (which, considering what a crazy time this year has been, I personally count as good news). I’ve actually been feeling pretty meh this week, so I’m really hoping to just ride out the rest of the month and use these next few days to prepare myself to have a better month in July. I know I’ve really been feeling thrown off from all of my goals and plans that I set at the beginning of the year for 2020, so I’m going to be taking this time to reevaluate and get back on track for the second half of the year so I can hopefully finish this year strong. What are your goals for the second half of this year? Share them below, and hopefully we can all motivate each other to stay on track through the second half of 2020!

Have a great week everyone, and happy end of June!

Much love,

Meredith

Thursday Favourites: June 18th

Hey everyone!

Soooooo, I’ve had this blog for over a year now — which means over a years worth of my Thursday reviews! Back when I started my blog, I actually used to post these on Tuesdays — and it took me a month or so to really get into the rhythm of writing out review-based posts and the structure and format that I desired for my blog.

However, I was also crazy excited to jump right in — and many of my first posts on my blog detailed some of my all-time fave products. However, reflecting back on this posts a year later, not only do I realize I shared a lot of my best recommendations before I really had an audience to share them with — but also, honestly, I could have written them a lot better.

As such, the next few weeks are going to highlight four of my absolute, all-time favourite products that I shared posts on last summer, in the first few months of my blogging journey. And it felt kind of fitting that the first post where I re-share a favourite should be the product I shared my first post on — Biossance’s Squalene + Vitamin C Rose Oil!

This product honestly kind of revolutionized my love of skincare. I always was a fan, but this product introduced me to Biossance and their squalene based products. Squalene, if you don’t know, is a vital part of your skin’s barrier that is naturally produced by your body. However, with age, you produce less and less — limiting your skin’s ability to block out dirt and pollutants. While squalene has been incorporated into many skincare products and lines before, it was almost always made from harvesting shark’s livers — which is bad for so many reasons. Biossance, however, found a way to create 100% vegan squalene from sugar cane — allowing you to use it without causing damage to animals and the ocean’s ecosystems.

After adding in squalene to my regular routine, I noticed such a change in my skin — I’ve always had relatively clear skin, but after using this product tiny blemishes and irritation where completely wiped away. As well, I could actually FEEL my skin’s barrier rebuilding after a single use — I didn’t even know that it had begun to break down. With environmental pollutants and excess dirt blocked from my skin, it began to look SO much more clear and healthy.

Some other things I love about this product is how thick and hydrating it is — without being greasy. It always absorbs fully into my skin by the morning and doesn’t layer on so thick that it makes my skin feeling like it’s suffocating. As well, the vitamin C element leaves my skin looking hydrated, bright and plump (kind of a weird way to describe it, but it does). I’ve been using this product for over a year now, and I don’t ever plan on stopping — while it seems rather pricey, I’ve only gone through one bottle in a year and a half of use.

If this sounds like the product you’ve been needing in your life, check it out at Sephora! (and if you’re not sure about this product specifically, you can always browse Biossance’s full line — all their products have squalene, and so far, every one I’ve tried has been so worth it).

Happy Thursday everyone — I hope your weeks are going well so far!

Much love,

Meredith