Sunday, March 16, 2014

My Skin Care Routine (Morning & Night)

I recently repurchased some of my favourite skin care products, so I thought it was time to do a skin care routine post.

First, let’s talk a bit about my skin. From what I have been told, I have combination/dehydrated skin. My skin gets a bit oily in the t-zone during the warmer months but I sometimes get a few dry patches in those areas. My cheeks do not get oily or overly dry. While I have never had a problem with acne, my skin is very sensitive and I have always dealt with rashes, eczema, rosacea, and hives. On a regular day my skin is pretty calm and clear, mainly due to my skin care routine.

In addition to the products below, I usually try to get a professional facial two to three times per year. The facials help unclog any pores and calm redness. I also sleep on a satin pillow case to prevent any creases in my skin and hair.

Before I get into the products, I just want to note that I am in no way affiliated with any of the companies that make them. I have just found that these products work well for my sensitive skin. I have been using most of the products below since I was in high school.

My morning skin care routine

It may sound a bit crazy, but I do not use any cleansers on my face  in the morning. I take a shower and wipe away any remaining products with water and a soft cloth. Then, I use the following products.

1. La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water – I use this product on mornings when I wake up with puffy eyes. After my shower, I spray a bit of this onto my ring finger and tap it on my eyelids and around my eye area. It seems to smooth out any swelling and congestion.

2. Dream Organics Rose Water Spray – I received this product in my February SeasonsBox and I have continued to repurchase it because it makes my skin feel very smooth and hydrated. After showering, I spray some of this on my hands and pat it all over my face, avoiding the eye area.

3. La Roche-Posay Hydraphase UV SPF 30  Moisturizer – Over the years, I have tried many of the La Roche-Posay daytime moisturizers. Some of them have left my face sticky and greasy, but this one is perfect. It has a thin formula but it is very moisturizing. It also contains SPF 30 which is very important for preventing age spots and wrinkles. I use it every day, even in the winter, after the rose water spray.

4. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream – This is a new product that I introduced to my routine only a week ago. I have lots of irritation (possibly eczema) on my neck and this product was recommended to me. In only a week, it has really improved the look and feel of the skin on my neck. I also love that it’s non-greasy so I don’t have to worry about it making my hair dirty.

5. Avene Soothing Eye Contour Cream – I have tried many eye creams and this is the only one that does not irritate my sensitive eyes or the skin around them. While I don’t think that this cream contains any anti-aging ingredients, it’s very hydrating and a great base to use under concealer.

My night time skin care routine (cleansing and toning)

I have divided my night time skin care routine into two parts because I seem to use quite a few products (I didn’t realize this until I took pictures for this post).

1. Make Up For Ever Sens’Eyes Waterproof Sensitive Eye Cleanser – Although I don’t wear eye make up every often, when I do I need a non-irritating make up remover. This remover from Make Up For Ever is the only one that I have tried so far that doesn’t irritate my eyes. I rub a bit of this on my eye area with my finger, let it sit for about 30 seconds, and wipe away with a damp cotton pad.

2. La Roche-Posay Physiological Cleansing Milk – This cleanser is very basic and non-irritating. I don’t know how well it removes foundation since I only wear blush and highlighter, but I really like how it doesn’t leave my skin feeling tight and dry. It has a light, sweet scent that sort of reminds me of the Popeye Cigarettes candies.

3. Michael Todd Jojoba Charcoal Facial Scrub – About once a week I will use this scrub to smooth away any flakes or dry patches. It gives the skin a light minty tingle and smells very fresh.

4. Benefit Moisture Prep Toning Base – I use this product every night after cleansing (and after exfoliating on days that I exfoliate). It’s the first toner that I have tried that does not dry out my skin. I use a cotton pad to apply it.

My night time skin care routine (moisturizing)

In addition to the following products, I will sometimes use a prescription rosacea treatment if I have any redness on my cheeks.

1. Heritage Store Castor Oil – Over the last six months I have use this product on my eyelashes and eyebrows because I read that castor oil can add length and thickness to lashes and brows. I just use the pad of my pointer finger to apply it. A little goes a long way. While I’m not sure if it has made a difference in my lashes, the sparse areas in my brows started growing in a few weeks after I started using this oil.

2. La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Serum – I apply this serum all over my face before applying moisturizer. It leaves my skin very smooth and hydrated.

3. La Roche-Posay Hydreane Riche Moisturizing Cream – This cream is very hydrating without being greasy. I use this after applying the serum.

4. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream – I use this moisturizer on my neck before bed as well. It’s very important to moisturize the skin in the neck area since it is very delicate and prone to wrinkles and dryness.

5.  Avene Soothing Eye Contour Cream + Vaseline – I use the same eye cream for day and night but I mix it with a bit of Vaseline at night. Doing this adds a bit of extra moisture and it protects my eye area from creases as I sleep.

6.  Aquaphor – I use Aquaphor at night to treat any dry patches (usually around my nose). I also use it on my lips before bed to prevent my lips from becoming dry and cracked while I sleep.

I hope that you enjoyed this very long skin care routine post. Which products do you use on your skin?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sephora Haul (Pictures + Swatches)

After lots of contemplation, I decided to return my Urban Decay Naked 3  palette. The shadows were not very pigmented on me despite my very pale complexion, and the pink-toned shades left my eyes looking tired and dull. I also found that the shadows disappeared after a few hours even though I was wearing a primer. I have never experienced any of these problems with my Naked 2 palette.
I thought that instead of keeping a palette that I was never going to use, it would be a good idea to exchange it for new products in spring inspired shades.
The first item that I picked up was the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream. My skin has been terribly dry this winter and I have been experiencing eczema-like patches on my face and neck, so I thought this cream would be worth a try. Since it’s free of parabens, harsh chemicals, and colorants, I’m hoping that it will calm my very sensitive, irritated skin without causing any more harm and smooth out all the red patches before spring.

Next up is one of the new HD Blushes from Make Up For Ever. The Sales Associate recommended this blush to me because I told her that I wanted a cheek product that would apply smoothly on bare skin since I do not use any foundation or powder. She said that this blush looks flawless and melts into the skin without looking blotchy. I was a bit hesitant since I’m not great at applying cream blush, but she said that I could use a brush and apply it just like I would a powder product. This blush is very pigmented so very little goes a long way. The colour that she selected for me is #215 Flamingo pink. It’s a non-shimmery peachy-pink shade that’s great for spring. If I like the formula, I will consider trying more shades.

This last product is one of the new Cheek Pop blushes from Clinique. While the peachy shades were very pretty, I wanted to start with a pink since I’m used to wearing light pink blushes. I chose Plum Pop over Berry Pop since the plum shade was a bit more of a cool toned pink. I love the cute packaging and beautiful floral pattern on the blush itself. The Sales Associate tried this shade on me in the store and it really complemented my pale skin. I like how it gives the skin a radiant, glowy sheen without any visible glitter. I will probably try the other shades in the line too since they are all very spring appropriate, and I tend to have a weakness for new blushes.

What are your favourite blushes for spring?