Fall Comes to The Body Shop

The Body Shop has long been a staple of my body and skincare routine – over the years they haven’t really switched up their lineup a whole lot, except to add the occasional fragrance here and there, and of course every year they release similar versions of their holiday scents. This year however, they’ve released a fall scent that I simply couldn’t resist picking up – Vanilla Pumpkin. If you know anything about me, I am absolutely obsessed with pumpkin anything: face masks, body washes, scrubs, candles and any sort of pumpkin food item, and this is no exception.

I only picked up the body wash and body butter but they also released a hand cream and fragrance mist as well. If you’ve ever used The Body Shop bath products these have the same creamy, rich texture, and I especially like to use the body butters as the weather turns colder and we head into fall. The scent leans quite strong on the vanilla but the pumpkin is definitely present. While I would prefer it to be more spicy rather than sweet, I will definitely be enjoying using these for the next couple of months. The Vanilla Pumpkin line will be out until around Christmas.

Have you tried this line and what is your favourite scent/product from The Body Shop?


The Mini-Purge

As we’re nearing the end of a very unsatisfying summer here in my part of the world, I thought it would be a good idea to get rid of a few beauty products from my stash that I’ve either finished, used to death or has just plain gotten old (or some combo of the above).

The first product I have used up is the Pixi Makeup Fixing Mist. Pixi only came into Canadian stores less than a year ago and this was the first product I picked up to try since I’m always in need of a good setting spray. This one smelled like roses, which I’m not overly fond of, and unfortunately the spray was terrible – in fact it stopped working altogether and I had to decant the liquid into a different bottle. Either way, it only did a so-so job of making my makeup last longer, so I won’t be repurchasing, although I am curious about other products in the line since I do like their Glow Tonic.

One product I’ve simply had for too long is the Lorac Behind The Scenes Eye Primer, which actually came with an eyeshadow palette that I bought years ago. It’s good, and I used it for a while, but since I don’t actually wear powder eyeshadow all that often, it’s simply gotten old and very difficult to push out of the tube, so it’s about time I say goodbye.

Another product I’ve had for an appalling amount of time is the Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder in shade 3. This is the first bronzer I ever bought in my life and I used it every single day Monday-Friday for the past.. 5 years. Yes. I said it – you probably think I’m absolutely disgusting and/or demented, but these things seem to last forever. I finally reached the point where the ring around the outside shattered and it was no longer possible to get product onto my brush properly, so I’m finally getting rid of it. Would I repurchase? At some point in the future, maybe. It’s a great texture and colour, and I love that there are so many different shades. This was a bronzer I could just go to town on since it isn’t overly pigmented, nor is it too dark for me. Just the fact that I used it for so many years, however,  has me wanting to try other things.

The last item I’m parting with is the Sunday Riley Artemis Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil. I bought this last year and they soon discontinued the product, so I won’t be able to buy it anymore. It was nice while it lasted but now it’s been open for a while so what is left of the product inside has gotten very gloopy, separated and crusty around the edges. I would like to try the UFO Clarifying Oil next, which I believe was released to replace this product.

What have you gotten rid of recently and what are you going to try next?

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?

2016 Final Clearout and Purge

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?

Two New Masks

True to my resolutions for 2016, I’ve been using up a ton of my skincare and not buying random extras for no reason. Recently, I’ve been able to finish quite a few face masks as well as samples I’ve had for ages and ages (probably far too long), so much so that I actually was able to purchase new ones to add to my stash.

I’m a religious face mask-user – almost every night I try to do at least one, rotating between brightening, acne-fighting and soothing/moisturizing ones so that my skin doesn’t get too worn out. My aim is to have approximately one of each kind of mask so that I don’t get stuck with having to use too many at a time. I already have my holy grail Fresh mask that I’ve raved about, which is the best clay mask I’ve ever tried. But I wanted something that was geared more specifically to combating those pesky breakouts, so I headed over to the Body Shop and picked up their Tea Tree Skin Clearing Clay Mask. The texture of the mask is difficult to describe. It doesn’t dry as hard as most clay masks, since it’s both creamy and slightly sticky. I wouldn’t say this is my favourite mask yet but I will definitely keep using it and keep you updated on the results.

The other battle I have to fight is constant hyperpigmentation and acne scars on my face – masks with resurfacing acids come in very handy for this and I spent a lot of time looking for one that would work but not cost me an arm and a leg. I eventually stumbled on Herbivore’s Blue Tansy AHA + BHA Resurfacing Clarity Mask, which claims to clarify and smooth skin. It’s just as blue as one would imagine, and has quite a runny texture, so one doesn’t need a great deal of product to cover the face. There’s a definite tingle when it goes onto the skin, and when the mask is washed away, it leaves my face feeling unbelievably soft. I’m really enjoying using this mask and think it has made a noticeable difference so far.

What are your favourite face masks and have you tried either of these?

The Scent of Summer…

As it’s now September and the weather has seemingly cooled very quickly, so I thought I had better share the delicious scent that will keep me thinking about summer long after it’s over. The Body Shop’s limited edition Pinita Colada range has been reviewed thoroughly on the internet since it was released in other countries in around May. However, for some reason, the line was not released until July in Canada. I managed to get my paws on a set they had – $20 for the shower gel and body sorbet, the latter of which is a formula I’ve never tried before. I’ve been using them for the past few weeks and absolutely loving the scent – it smells exactly like the name suggests and reminds me of trips to Cuba.

The shower gel is the standard Body Shop formula, although a bit thicker in consistency than some of the other scents. And the body sorbet is the most extraordinary texture – gel-like and almost gritty, but when rubbed into the skin melts into nothing. I can see why this is used as a summertime moisturizer as it’s decidedly less heavy than a traditional lotion. I did also pick up two of the body butters, which is a formula I prefer, and seems to be running out – I actually had to go to three different locations before I managed to find them in stock, so if you haven’t tried these products I’d suggest you run to your nearest Body Shop ASAP!

Have you tried this range and what was your favourite product?

A Tale of Two Scrubs

I’m like a broken record this year. Spend less! Don’t buy impulsively! It’s almost necessary that I keep that up to myself, however, in order to ensure I’m not wasting too much money. One of the ways I’ve been trying to cut down on the dollars is by replacing high-end products with cheaper alternatives.

Recently, I managed to run out of both my morning and evening face washes, which were this Philosophy and this Clarins scrubs. When it comes to cleansers, I’m definitely pretty particular, but I figure that if I’m going to spend my money somewhere on my skincare, it’ll have to be on something that stays on my face instead of being washed off after 60 seconds, so I’m still willing to drop some cash at Sephora for serums and moisturizers and things. However, it made a ton of sense to me to start going for less expensive cleansers right away. I spent a lot of time roaming the aisles of Shoppers Drug Mart and Rexall, reading the backs of bottles, because as much as I love scrubs, there’s now the microbead controversy to worry about. I’d like to avoid contributing to that problem as much as possible.

Anyway, I picked up the Yes to Grapefruit Daily Facial Scrub as I’d heard good things about it. I really like it – it’s a great refreshing smell in the morning, and the scrubby bits are slightly larger and sparser than most scrubs, which is okay for the morning as I don’t want to get too rough with my skin right when I wake up. I’d definitely repurchase and/or try other scrubs from the Yes to line. I’ve always been interested in the Body Shop’s skincare lines and have used bits on and off over the years so when I needed a new cleanser I popped in there and picked up the Vitamin C Microdermabrasion exfoliator, which is more of a thick paste and contains tons of crushed crystal pieces for exfoliating. It’s definitely more intense of a scrub and is recommended to be used only once or twice a week. I might eventually get something gentler that I can use daily and then use this one the way it’s meant to be used, but for now I’ve been using it after I remove my makeup and it leaves my skin feeling great.

A note about daily scrubbing – I’ve mentioned this before on the blog but I often get told that I should stop doing that and switch to gentler methods of cleansing. I have very hardy skin and a ton of clogged pores / dead skin cells lingering so it’s necessary for me to exfoliate everyday. I’ve never had an issue with that and have tried the ‘gentler’ method. Result is more clogged pores and breakouts – ew.

What are your favourite drugstore exfoliators and what would you recommend?