Thursday, December 20, 2012

My Current Skincare Heroes

Cue the angels singing, people - I haven't had any skin issues in over a month and I feel like this must be documented.
Last fall/winter my skin went dry and crazy, this past summer it went oily overload... I thought I lost hope. 
Slowly but surely, as I started incorporating some new products into my usual routine, my skin started getting really nice. Here are the standouts from the past couple of months, old and new:

If you would have told me I'd love a SOAP for my face, I would have thought you were crazy. On a particularly oily day I decided to give this a whirl with my Clarisonic. It balanced my oily skin so perfectly, I can't rave about it enough. 
Now, it's a bit drying for everyday use but twice a week I use this with the Clarisonic and it has kept the oil in check.
If you're in Canada, you can find Sibu products at some Rexall drug stores. The line is also available at Whole Foods or online.

This baby replaced my Alpha H Liquid Gold. It's a toner that contains 8% glycolic acid and I use it nightly. This costs less than the Alpha H Liquid Gold and it gave me more visible results. It helps fade some old post-acne scars and really helped refine my skin texture, especially on my cheeks!
Note: as far as I know, you can only get this brand at Canadian drug stores.

I raved about this in this blog post, so I won't go on in too much detail. Basically since I started using a glycolic acid toner on a daily basis I figured it was a good idea to buy a daily moisturizer with a good SPF in it in order to prevent against further darkening of scars.

I've been mentioning this baby in my skincare routine videos on my YouTube channel for over a year now. I bought it on a whim from Shoppers Drug Mart using my reward points and it has remained one of my "Lazy Sunday" staples. I use it about once a week if my skin is feeling dull and dehydrated. It contains a plethora of hydrating ingredients yet doesn't feel heavy or greasy on the skin at all. It just keeps the skin cells nice and plump, with a gorgeous refreshing scent!

Also purchased this on a whim a couple of months ago and I tend to use it as my night time moisturizer every other day. It sinks in effortlessly, hydrates my skin and doesn't contribute to oil production.

An acne-fighting best friend. I've been using this for years and it still remains my spot treatment of choice :)

In conclusion, I am embracing my skin going from super dehydrated oil slick to normal with oily tendencies in the T zone like a regular human. I think the mixture of keeping the skin hydrated and frequent exfoliation really agrees with me at the moment.

Have you made any new skincare discoveries lately?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Jazzy Nails For Lazy People - Sally Hansen Nail Effects

On a recent stress-relieving outing to Shoppers Drug Mart I stumbled across a beautiful fully-stocked display of some Sally Hansen Salon Effects nail strips... on sale! They were $7 and you got some bonus points for buying two so naturally I grabbed a couple of boxes and the rest is history. I settled on a pretty and soft shimmery champagne polish strip with a black baroque-ish design.

Nail art has grown immensely in popularity over the past year. While I am not the most adventurous when it comes to nail colour/texture, these nail strip types of things have always caught my attention. I just always avoided trying it out because I thought it would be too difficult (hey - I can barely paint my own nails, I am easily intimidated!)

Long story short, I was up for an adventure last week so I picked up one of my boxes of nail strips and went to town:
  • you get more than just 10 of these adhesive strips (you get 8 options per hand) in order to accommodate most finger shapes
  • I don't know the exact science behind these things, but they smell like nail polish... so I am pretty sure they're made of nail polish. 
  • you just peel them off their backing, like a sticker, and stick them on your nail making sure that you selected the correct shape for the particular finger you are "painting". 
  • The instructions suggest you buff the surface of your nails first to get more grip for the adhesive polish strip but I didn't do that and still got good results. As long as you don't have any moisture/oily residue or debris on the surface of your nails, the adhesive strips should stick without a problem.
  • that's IT! I stuck the babies on like stickers, pressing tightly and making sure that the strip covered my entire nail. I then folded the strip over the edge of my nail and filed off the excess part of the strip... voila:

I was so surprised at how easy this whole thing was. In less than 10 minutes I did one entire hand. They lasted a whole week without peeling off. They claim to last up to 10 days but I removed them after a week just because I got sick of the design - I think that the particular design of it would look better just on an accent nail rather than on all my fingers.

*Note: I removed them with nail polish remover just like any ol' nail polish and it worked like a charm.

Anyways, this was a success! If you were wary of giving these things a try in the past because you're nail art challenged like I am, I promise you that you can handle these :)

I think they're such a cute way to jazz up a manicure especially for a holiday party of sorts. I have since picked up a sparkly gold one that I can't wait to try out. I also have some extra strips from the kit I used in this blog post that I plan on using as accent nails on a manicure with Chanel Vertigo nail polish.

Consider my nails officially JAZZED.

How do you feel about nail art? Have you tried these things?? I know I'm a bit late to the party...



Friday, December 7, 2012

Revlon Diamond Lust Eyeshadow Look (and Giveaway)

The holiday season just wouldn't seem right without a sparkly, metallic high-shine eyeshadow in tow.
Silvers, golds, copper tones and bronze... I love it all.

In today's post I am sporting Revlon Diamond Lust Eyeshadow in the shade Night Sky.

Night Sky is a beautiful shimmery dark grey eyeshadow. There are small particles of silver glitter throughout. You can build the eyeshadow up really dark or use it on top of a black base for a more intense look (would be perfect for a New Year's Eve party!).

In the demo I opted for a more subtle approach by layering it on top of a soft matte brown base. The pigmentation was great when applied with fingers and a sponge tip applicator. A flat moistened synthetic brush can also help pack on the pigment as needed. Now since this colour is so dark and rich in glitter, I recommend doing your eyeshadow before any under-eye concealing just so you can easily clean up any fall-out.

The Revlon PhotoReady concealer in Light is a great match for my under-eye area, is easy to blend with fingers and provides good coverage. I've mentioned it in some of my favourites videos on my channel over the past few months :)

As for the lip - like with any sort of bold eyeshadow look I liked to tone it down and sport a paler lip. Revlon Super Lustrous lipgloss in Peach Petal is one of my favourite shades and one that I have owned for quite a while. It's a must for any nude lipgloss lover!

Now for the best part - the GIVEAWAY.

I will be giving away 10 of the Revlon Diamond Lust eyeshadows! As always, please comment below with your e-mail addresses or twitter usernames to enter the contest. I will pick the winners in 2 weeks and contact you for your shipping information.

What are some of your favourite eyeshadow combinations for holiday parties?

Click here for more beauty tips!
15 steps, then a beauty blog. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.