An Oil For Every Occasion

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?

The Sephora Birthday Haul 2017

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?

The Travel Essentials

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?

2016 Favourites: Skincare

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?

The Collective Autumn/Winter Haul


Ahh, fall. It’s the time of year when there are sales and deals galore. Parts of this post are a bit late due to the annual Sephora 20% off sale being over a month ago, but there were so many other beauty bits I bought in November/early December that I figured I’d cram them all into one post.

Of course the biggest deal of them all is the Sephora VIB sale – everyone knows about it by now and we all eagerly anticipate it, making lists weeks in advance and sussing out the best items to buy during this time. You’ll know by now that 2016 was supposed to be a year of purging and buying only what was necessary for me, so I didn’t go as crazy at Sephora as I could have this year. I only bought items I was running out of and really needed. First up is the Estee Lauder Clear Difference Advanced Blemish Serum, which I’ve been dying to try for ages now but was always sold out. I use this in the mornings and so far it’s been working out decently well. It’s got a thicker, creamy consistency that I like for cold weather days as it’s not too drying. I had also run out of eye cream months ago and was surviving off samples, so I finally picked up the Ole Henriksen Fresh Start Eye Cream, which comes in a giant 1 oz pot, and I use morning and night. It’s a good, solid eye cream that I had used about 4 years ago, but decided to go back to. I’m always needing a makeup remover, and I decided to buy another bottle of the Sephora Collection Supreme Cleansing Oil, which works a real treat in removing everything from your face. Lastly, the one item I bought as a treat to myself was the Tarte Tarteist Metallic Shadow in Scandal, which is described as a ‘bright copper’. I am actually going to return this as the colour ended up being much darker and rustier than I thought – silly me for not looking up skin swatches first. I also redeemed several hundred points for various gifts, including this one, as I’ve wanted to try the cleanser in there for a while.

A few weeks later, Shoppers Drug Mart had an epic Spend Your Points event, whereby the points that you collect are suddenly worth more $-wise for one weekend. I needed a night-time serum as well, having run out of that, and first on my list was the Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector, which I haven’t used long enough to see any changes in my skin, but hasn’t done anything bad so far. I was also out of daytime moisturizer, so I picked up the Bioderma Sebium Shine-Control Moisturizer. I’ve always been curious about Bioderma’s other products and this one looked good, and reasonably priced (around $20) to me. I will say that in these colder months I might use it more as a primer rather than a moisturizer. I also snagged a Benefit Gimme Brow in the shade 5, which is a brow gel I have always wanted to try but could never justify spending $30 on. But since I got it for free…

Shortly after the Shoppers haul, Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals were all over the place. In the last few years some of the deals have managed to make their way north of the border, despite the fact that we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in November. Either way, I was very excited and feeling entirely too spendy, so I went to the Tarte website, where they were selling all of their foundations for $25. I couldn’t resist, so I picked up an Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation in the shade Light-Medium Neutral, which normally retails for $47, so was basically 50% off. I have been dying to try this foundation, as it has gotten rave reviews not only on the internet, but from friends of mine. The rest of the Tarte site also had 25% off at the time and to get free shipping I had to spend $75, so naturally I picked up the matching Airbuki Brush and my holy grail Colored Clay CC Undereye Corrector in Light-Medium. I have to say that after I ran out of my first one and decided to replace it with a cheaper alternative, it’s just not the same! So I am happy to have the Tarte corrector back in my life. They also included a free concealer brush in the order, which is a great size for travelling.

Lastly, because Sephora is all knowing and somewhat evil (not really), they sent out a $25 off $50 coupon for everyone who reached VIB Rouge by a certain date. That’s half off, so of course me and my lack of self-control couldn’t resist. I popped into my local store and picked up the Fresh Umbrian Clay Oil-Free Lotion. I’ve always wanted to try more products from the Umbrian Clay range since I love the treatment bar so much. It’s also $50 on the dot so I got exactly 50% off. I was also in luck since when I went to pay they had as a 100-point perk a mini of the Sunday Riley Martian Mattifying Melting Water-Gel Toner, which a co-worker of mine has been raving about, but I couldn’t justify spending $69 on to try. I will be giving this a good go over the Christmas season to see if it really makes a difference in my skin.

Whew – that’s a lot of stuff and hopefully I won’t be buying too many things any time soon. What did you pick up in the recent sales, and what is your favourite item?

The Cult Beauty Haul

A high-end haul, right on the heels of a series of posts claiming I’m on a no-buy? I must be kidding, right? Recently, I finished up my mini of the Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil, which I had posted about ages ago, but decided to actually use up, since I know the stuff is pricey. I actually ended up not minding it at all, and between that and the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate, I’ve gotten quite used to mixing a drop or two of nourishing oil into my nighttime moisturizer.

So when I ran out of the Luna, I panicked a little bit. Despite using a drop everyday, I’m still quite the facial oil n00b, and am always very cautious of over-moisturizing my oily skin, so I did some research and the Sunday Riley Artemis Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil came up as being really good for oily and problematic skin. Strangely enough, Sephora Canada doesn’t carry Artemis online, although they carry the rest of the Sunday Riley line. At this point, I turned to cultbeauty.co.uk, which is the favourite of every UK beauty blogger I watch, and I’d dithered a bit on ordering from in the past. I figured this was my chance, despite the terrifying prospect of placing an order in pounds.

Of course if I was going to take the leap of ordering, I might as well get some other stuff too right? I could not leave the website without adding the absolute cult Pixi Glow Tonic to my basket. It retails for £18.00, which works out to about $30 CAD, if not more. Is this excessive for a toner? Definitely. But I will be cracking it open the second I finish my current toner.

Because I only have mediocre self-control, I allowed myself one more thing – the Fairy Drops Scandal Queen Waterproof Mascara. I’ve been having a bit of a battle with my mascara recently, which will be addressed in the next post, so I decided to try this, as I’ve heard loads about it and it gets tons of love online. It promises volume + curl, and smudge-proof goodness on top of it all. I’m very excited to get into this one for sure.

The package (including two free samples) came in about a week, which isn’t bad for coming across the pond, and Cult Beauty also does free worldwide shipping for orders over £50, a threshold that is easily crossed on the site!

Have you ever tried any of these products and what are your Cult Beauty faves?

The Sephora VIB Sale Haul



It’s that time of year again… when the land of pretty things has it’s annual 20% off sale. I’d been making a mental list for months in preparation of this sale, which is especially handy if you have a couple big ticket items you’ve been meaning to pick up.

I have to say that this year I was really impressed with Sephora – this post is super delayed as I actually made my online order last Friday and the package showed up on Monday the 9th. Last year they were a bit delayed due to volume, but it seems that this time around they were much more prepared. I will say though, I made my order on November 6th around 9:30 am EST (the day the sale started for Rouge members) and a bunch of things were already sold out, so the next time a Sephora sale comes around, I would advise getting on that as early as possible to get the stuff you want!

But to the good stuff – the products. I haven’t tried any of them yet but as you can see the majority of my purchases were skincare items. The item at the top of my list was the Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment, of which I have heard loads about online and has become a bit of a cult product. In Canada, this serum retails for an eye-watering $116, so I was definitely keen on taking advantage of the sale. I haven’t tried it yet but I have high hopes. My next purchases were from Laneige, which is a brand I’ve spoken about before, but was never sold on Sephora until recently. I had to make a repurchase of my third jar of the Water Sleeping Mask, which is just the most divine gel-cream texture and leaves your skin super moisturized but not greasy overnight. Then, I thought it would be a good idea to try some of the other Laneige products, including the brightening line, since my hyperpigmentation issues are a constant plague. I decided to go with the Bright Renew Original Serum and the Bright Renew Emulsion, which in combination I hope will help battle my scarring. Laneige as a brand is quite reasonably priced – not cheap, but much more affordable than its sister brands, including AmorePacific. The one thing I will say is that if you’re interested in trying Laneige, be warned that its products tend to be quite heavily scented – not in a bad way, but some people’s skin don’t react well to that. In particular, the Power Essential Skin Toner is quite perfumey, which is why I decided not to repurchase and go with the Algenist Genius White Brightening Moisture Softener, which is a crazy long name for what is essentially a brightening toner. In case you didn’t notice a theme here, I’ve really decided to go full power on the whole ‘brightening’ thing. I’m looking forward to seeing if a $60 toner makes any kind of difference.

In terms of makeup, I really only picked up one item for myself, and that is the Burberry Eye Colour – Wet & Dry Glow Shadow in No. 003 Shell, which is a gorgeous shimmery peach colour that I’m hoping will work as a subtle everyday glow. I also picked up a Burberry Lip Velvet Lipstick in Oxblood as a partial Christmas present for my mom – she loves colours like this, and she loves Burberry.

I also redeemed 200 points on a couple of minis – a loose powder and a travel size of my Clinique moisturizer.

What did you pick up in the sale and what are you most excited to try?