Facial oils.. they’ve been all the rage in the past few years, and have become a staple in everyone’s skincare routine. They’re easy to get into if you have dry skin, but how about us oily-skinned gals, who have been running in fear every time we see a bottle that lists oil as one of the ingredients?
The one oil I’ve been using for years is tea tree oil, which I buy from The Body Shop, although you can get it anywhere, really. This is the best acne treatment if I have a blemish and want to treat it but also wear makeup. Other spot treatments don’t sit well under makeup, so just taking a cotton swab of this stuff works great. Another blemish-busting oil I’ve been using for almost a year now is the Sunday Riley Artemis Hydoactive Cellular Face Oil, which I mix in with my nighttime moisturizer. It smells awful, like most Sunday Riley products, but I’ve found it does help overall with facial clarity. Sadly, they’ve discontinued this product, but when it runs out I do plan on trying the Ultra Clarifying Oil from the same line – I’ve been told by people I know that it works a treat.
Even us oily-skinned folk do get dry sometimes though. In the winter I tend to collect dry patches around my cheeks and nose, which happened loads this year. When that happens I usually pull out my Argania Argan Oil, which I picked up at my local Winners. The brand doesn’t really matter, any high-quality argan oil will do. This stuff moisturizes like nothing else – although I have to be careful of not over-using it, otherwise my skin can freak out. Another great and cult favourite oil is the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate, which I’ve also been using for a few years now. This is a really light oil that absorbs quickly into the skin and I tend to use this when I need to calm my skin down, whether it’s due to breakouts, dryness or if I’ve just used an intense acid mask. I find it’s a good all-around treatment whatever my issue is.
What are your favourite facial oils and what would you recommend?
Do you ever have those products that you’re just not sure about? They didn’t wow you, but they didn’t really suck either? Recently I’ve found a few of those that have been rattling around my collection and decided I would share them with you all.
The first one is a cult favourite product that made the rounds on the internet – the Caudalie Beauty Elixir. It’s meant to be a toner/setting spray/refreshing mist that tones and hydrates, but I don’t really see that it does much. It has a very minty herbal smell that isn’t bad but lingers in a way I don’t like. I will definitely continue to use this up as it was an expensive product, but will not repurchase and I haven’t seen any benefits thus far.
Another popular product is the CoverFX Perfect Pencil, which I have in in the shade G Medium. This is a multi-purpose skin-coloured pencil with a teeny tiny tip for precise application. It can be used all over the face, or in the waterline to brighten eyes. I love the concept of this pencil, but I have found that this does not work well on the face. When I try to blend out the edges, it all wipes away, and it isn’t creamy enough to use in my waterline – not to mention I wouldn’t use a $25 pencil as a nude eyeliner when there are so many cheaper options out there.
Lastly, the Eyeko Black Magic Mascara is a product I got in a Birchbox last year and I’ve been playing with over the past few weeks. The brush is of the curved bristle variety, and it actually applies the product really well – my lashes look separated, lengthened and thicker with this mascara. The problem is that I constantly struggle with the oiliness of my eyelids and smudgy mascara. This one I can wear for a couple of hours without smudging, but it’s not an all-day wear product for me, unfortunately. I think that if you don’t have a mascara smudging problem then this would be a great mascara for you, but sadly for me, it’s reserved for short weekend outings.
Have you tried any of these products and what did you think?
Seems like I have been buying a lot of things recently – though it’s also true that I have been running out of things left right and centre. My birthday was a few weeks ago and as per my usual tradition, I’ve been to Sephora to pick up a few items as well as the free birthday gift. To be honest, most of these buys are pretty boring – I had to get another Sephora Collection Solid Brush Cleanser, and a Nails Inc. 45 Second Top Coat with Kensington Caviar, both of which are staples in my day-to-day routine. I also ran out of nighttime moisturizer so it was time to go back to my old faithful, the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask – it’s honestly the best for my oily/combo skin, especially as spring and summer are approaching.
The one new thing I did spring for is the Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser, which I had used a sample of while away. It’s a wonderful milky cleanser with some beads to help with manual scrubbing without being too harsh. Skin feels soft and clean afterward, which is awesome. This is definitely not a cheap product, but the bottle is gigantic and will probably last a good while. I’m also quite excited about the minis I got, a 100 point perk of the Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment, as well as the Caudalie birthday set.
What have you picked up from Sephora recently and what would you recommend?
I’m jetting off on a week-long trip soon and I thought I’d share a few essentials I am bringing with me. Aside from being ridiculously cute, mini products are great for saving for these types of occasions.
For skincare, I’m bringing the Laneige Multi Cleanser, which is a creamy and lightly exfoliating daily face wash, then I’ll be using my mini of the Sunday Riley Martial Mattifying Melting Water-Gel Toner and then slapping on my absolute favourite Laneige Water Sleeping Mask, which works great for both day and night. For any breakouts that might happen (which often do when I travel, sadly), I have my trusty Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel. If that’s not strong enough, I can use a dab of the GlamGlow Supermud Clearing Treatment, or use it all over the face.
For makeup, I’ve got the mini of the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard, which is great for under the eyes and around the face, which will be blended out with my Sephora Collection Pro Mini Airbrush #55.5 Brush. For adding warmth and contouring the NYX Contour Pro Single in Sienna is being packed away for its compactness – it’s also a great colour. For highlight, the cute little Benefit Watt’s Up is my favourite, and it doubles as a great cream eyeshadow. The Kat Von D Tattoo Liner is a perennial favourite, and having a mini-sized pen is just great for travel.
To take all this makeup off at the end of the day I have the cutest pot of the Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm, and to wash my brushes, I packed the Sephora Collection Solid Brush Cleanser.
What are your travel go-tos and what do you recommend?
In this part of the world, winter has not been that bad thus far – it has to be said. But inevitably, the colder temperatures bring drier air and plenty of wind, which wreaks havoc on my skin every year.
It was around December when I started to really feel the dehydration and dry patches. I was forced to put away my usual night time moisturizer and bring out the big guns – the GlamGlow ThirstyMud Hydrating Treatment, which I mix with a couple drops of the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate. It took about four consecutive days of use, but after that most of my dry patches were gone. Now I use this combo a couple times a week just for maintenance, as I do need constant injections of moisture in my PM routine.
Another product I bought in a bit of a panic was the Origins A Perfect World Age-Defense Treatment Lotion with White Tea, because I was in need of a more hydrating toner. It smells wonderful and I slap a bit of this on after cleansing in the morning, so that my skin isn’t so sapped from all the various treatments I use during the day. As you can tell, I don’t normally keep anything too hydrating in my routine but this time of year, it’s so important even for us oily-skinned folks!
The last thing I’ve had issues with is foundation shade-matching. For some reason all of the foundations I own have been oxidizing like crazy on me, and I’m at my palest, so I was struggling a bit with what to do, since I’m so used to buying light-medium or medium foundations that I finally had to run to the drugstore and pick up a shade that made no sense to me – the Maybelline Fit Me Foundation in the shade 120 Classic Ivory. It’s light with neutral undertones – the problem for me is that I have quite neutral-warm undertones, but most brands’ lightest shades lean quite cool, so it’s an ongoing battle for me. So far I’ve been mixing this with a bit of my regular foundations to lighten it up, but the oxidizing issue is persistent. If you guys have any ideas of how to prevent or lessen this, any suggestions would be welcome! I have already tried the primer / primer + powder prior to foundation and neither have worked so far :(.
What are your winter skincare and makeup staples?
This is my last post detailing the products I’ve used in 2016 and I’m sure you’re all sick of it, but since 2016 was a year of major commitment to using up products and buying less, I thought it was important to see what I had actually managed to accomplish in this area.
The first picture has all the stuff I used up – mostly skincare and minis. I really powered through a few things, and have already repurchased some. Other things, including the Algenist GENIUS White Brightening Moisture Softener, I am really missing. It was a pricey little number, but it really did reduce my dark spots and worked great at moisturizing. I will also totally repurchase the Ole Henriksen Invigorating Night Treatment, the Simple Cleansing Micellar Water, and The Body Shop’s Vitamin C Microdermabrasion, which are all amazing and not overly expensive.
Some ‘meh’ products that I won’t be looking for again include the Clarins Beauty Flash Balm – what exactly does this stuff do again? I also saw absolutely no results from the Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Instant Nail Hardener. Quite disappointing, but that’s how it goes with products sometimes.
I am also getting rid of quite a few makeup products – as you know, they have a shelf life and things can get a bit funky after a while. I’d say I probably keep products longer than the average person so really, it’s important that I get rid of things regularly… I’m working on it. Two major product dumps are sadly, high-end foundations: the Benefit The Big Easy Liquid to Powder SPF 35 Foundation, which was good but far too dark for me (they have a terrible shade selection). The bottle is also 2.5 years old and almost empty – it was time for that to go. The Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Foundation is another over 2 year old foundation that I’ve barely used, so there really was no point in holding onto it. Another sort of sad thing that may be controversial, is that I’m getting rid of all my Bite Beauty lip products because even though they are lovely in colour and texture, I just can’t take the scent/taste. I can’t really explain it but something about these just doesn’t sit well with me, so bye-bye Bite. Other products that have basically dried out are my two Maybelline Color Tattoos and various liquid lip products.
All in all I’m quite happy with the items I’ve used up and decided to throw away – it was time and I also hope to continue on this trend this year. What products have you used up in the past year and is this something you’ve committed to doing?
Skincare is something that will be my most researched and intensely-loved category of cosmetics – it’s my original obsession and where I consistently sink the most money on that unending quest for perfect skin. Last year’s favourites are still loves but I found a few new things this year that really changed my skin for the better.
The first is something I’ve gone through multiple bottles of (..three, I believe), and will repurchase when my current daytime serum runs out. That is the Boscia Clear Complexion Treatment. Something about this stuff just works. It’s not a miracle product, nor does it do anything on really large, cystic acne, but it just helps with the overall appearance and clarity of my skin, and it sits really beautifully under makeup. As an added bonus, it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg – I will be forever repurchasing this stuff until they stop making it (hopefully that’s never). Another treatment that has just been great is the Sunday Riley Artemis Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil, which is aimed at clarifying and detoxifying the skin. I add a drop or two to my nighttime moisturizer every night and it really helps to make my skin both plumper and brighter. This is a pricey little bottle, but it’ll probably last me forever!
Two face masks I’ve been loving are the Herbivore Blue Tansy Mask, which gets rid of dead skin and clarifies, and the GlamGlow Supercleanse Daily Treatment Cleanser. I know the latter is not actually supposed to be used as a mask, but I use it as a low-budget version of the mask, and it works great – it clarifies and gets rid of the gunk in pores while also leaving the skin soft and smooth. To remove makeup, I’ve been loving the Sephora Collection Supreme Cleansing Oil – it’s just the best and not a bad price point at all.
For something a bit more on the random side, I’ve been absolutely obsessed with the Ombra Spa Deo Roll-On, which might be TMI but everyone needs deodorant, right? This stuff is aluminum free and smells quite nice without being overpowering. I do prefer the Mild over the Sport version, by the way. And lastly, the Rocky Mountain Soap Co. Lip Butters are fantastic. This is a natural, Canadian brand that I think is only available in stores in Alberta, but one can order online from all over the place. The one pictured above is a limited edition Vanilla Candy Cane flavour but I have tried a few other ones and they’re all great for keeping the lips nice and hydrated.
What have your favourite skincare products of 2016 been and what would you recommend?