I tried following the 10 step Korean skincare routine for a month and here’s what happened…

So as we all may know, Koreans take their skincare routine very seriously; so damn seriously that they have a whole 10 steps to follow. I already read about the benefits of their routines and their habits and the products they use. Some are pretty pricey and some are average and their skincare varies from creams to serums to ampoules to masks. After a month of trying this out, I gotta say it’s exhausting, but after some extensive research, I do realize that it is not required to do the full 10 steps on a daily, but rather to choose what to use according to the particular needs of your skin. Here are the deets…

Step One: Oil Cleanser

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Purpose of this step: The oil cleanser is applied to dry skin; an oil cleanser to help remove makeup and any other oil-based product debris like sunscreen and pollution particles.

What I used: I recently got on the Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm bandwagon thanks to many obsessive review readings. There is no particular special texture or smell for this product, but it was soft and pleasant to use. It takes a little to get used to if you do not like the feel of oil on the skin; it was definitely weird for me to have an oily film on my skin but knowing that I could wash it right after didn’t make it too bad to bear. Every night, for a whole month, I first cleansed my face with this oil whether I had makeup or not.

Step Two: Foam Cleanser

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Purpose of this step: According to Koreans, the secret to perfect skin is to make sure it is fully clean before applying any other product…therefore, double cleansing is necessary because there, for sure, will be leftover gunk on your skin after one cleanse.

What I used: I never paid any consideration to the cleanser I used as long as it never made my skin dry. So I grabbed whatever was on the shelf at the drugstore and to be honest, other than the Cosrx Cleanser which I still love, I didn’t give it too much thought, so I figured there’s no harm for me to try a foam cleanser. I decided to try the Shiseido Extra Cream Cleansing Foam and I actually loved the double-cleanse step. This rich cream foams instantly and helps clean the skin in the smoothest way leaving you with fresh and supple skin filled with health and just oomph. It really felt like my skin was completely cleared of any bad particles, leaving a clean slate to work with for the rest of the regimen. This is probably the two steps I will stick with forever because clean skin feels truly amazing.

Step Three: Exfoliator

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Purpose of this step: It’s pretty obvious why we use exfoliators. I remember being quite obsessed with this step when I was younger, because it was the only way my skin felt super clean and fresh…and I may have been abusive with it to the point where I exfoliate almost daily which put a strain onto my sensitive skin. Too much of it can actually damage the skin rather than saving it. Granted, exfoliation not only cleans out clogged pores, but it also sloughs off dead skin cells as it removes the dull layer of cells to help reveal brighter skin.

What I used: I wanted something less abrasive because I already have quite dry skin now with the pregnancy. So I decided to stick to just using a glycolic acid exfoliator instead rather than bead filled cream. Although, when I do feel like my skin needs it, I do use a cream exfoliator once every two weeks in the shower for an extra boost. With the Pixi Glow Tonic, I could easily exfoliate away with a little cotton pad and be done in like  two seconds. Although I ended up not sticking to this step, it was still beneficial as glycolic acid is the Holy Grail for exfoliation because it helps effectively remove the outermost layer of dead cells from the complexion, revealing brighter, fresher skin. Glycolic Acid can also be used to treat scarring, skin discoloration and signs of aging.

Step Four: Toner

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Purpose of this step: According to Korean skincare experts, after cleansing so many times the skin becomes fragile, so it is really important to take the time to hydrate it and this is why toner is necessary because it acts as a way to prep the skin, so it’ll absorb the following treatments better.

What I used: I stuck with just using the rose water I was using from the beginning of my pregnancy. You can pretty much find rose water in your local organic food store and not spend a gazillion dollars. Didn’t want to go all out and purchase something just to try it…I was content with the results of the rose water. I still used this step, on and off, depending on how I feel and depending on the time I have to spend to prep my skin. At the beginning, I used a cotton pad but then I felt like I was wasting so much product and wasn’t getting all the benefits…therefore, I decided to just pour the liquid into my palms and patting onto my skin and this felt much more beneficial. This step really did help my skin feel plumper and more hydrated.

Step Five: Essence

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Purpose of this step: The essence is the heart of Korean skin care and it considered the most important part of their entire routine. The essence is a treatment that is similar to serums, boosters, or ampoules; but it’s more watery in consistency then the rest of those products, so it comes out like a toner.

What I used: Since I have used Cosrx before as a brand and felt like it wouldn’t cause me to break out massively or have an allergic reaction, I decided to try on of their essences. I went with the Advanced Snail Power Essence but honestly, although I finished up the bottle, I didn’t feel like it made a world of a difference, I mean I don’t feel like I need to continue with this step. It did feel luxurious and diva-like to splash the essence on my face but it was just meh for me.

Step Six: Serum, Boosters, or Ampoule Treatments

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Purpose of this step: This basically where you target your major needs and use these specific products to treat all the concerns you may have with your skin. This step is to work on issues that you may have such as brown spots, pigmentation, acne and more.

What I used: Since at the moment, I am having very good skin, I haven’t changed what I use. I have been using this particular serum for ages and will continue to do so because I really do actually see a difference in my skin whenever I stop using it. This Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum is a must for me because it helps me maintain a healthy, glowing, clean skin all year round. It helps brighten my complexion and even out my skin tone. This serum step is a regular in my skincare routine anyway so I didn’t feel like I had to go all out. My skin really does feel healthy with this serum and I do recommend it to anyone looking to remove any spots and pigmentation.

Step Seven: Mask

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Purpose of this step: The purpose of your mask depends on what your skin needs. You can choose to extra hydrate, to deep-clean or whatever depending on how your skin is on this particular day. This is not an every-night step, you really only need to do it twice a week.

What I used: Masking has been a ritual for me for ages! I cannot not use a mask, you know what I mean? It’s like the only way I feel like I unwind and relax. I use masks usually to relax but whenever I feel like I need to clear up my clogged pores or deep clean my skin, I reach for the heavy duty masks. There are a couple of masks that I use and it would be too long to go through them in this post…but I can definitely do another updates posts with my favourite masks of all time. I usually just reach for the Sephora Brand Sheet Masks depending on how I feel and they work great. There is no need to spend big money on masks as long as they truly work and deliver what they promise.

Step Eight: Eye Cream

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Purpose of this step: Depending on what you are looking for, this step could focus on everything from fine lines to dark circles. Basically, if you have any under eye concerns, “there’s” a cream for it.

What I used: I was never into eye creams to start with; I tried a gazillion cream from a gazillion different brand but never truly saw the benefit of any. According to my dermatologist, eye creams aren’t necessary anyway because they’re just like your regular moisturizer with a little less concentration in the ingredeints….so using your regular moisturizer around your eyes gently is way better than splurging your money of an eye cream that won’t do much anyway. I, for kicks, used to Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkle Night Cream and yup, as I predicted, nothing really changed. I mean it’s nice and bougie to use it, but I won’t keep spending 78$ for something that doesn’t work all that much.

Step Nine: Face Cream

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Purpose of this step: This step is simply to lock in skin’s moisture and it is the key to supple, younger-looking skin.

What I used: Even if you don’t end up following the 10 step skincare routine, moisturizer should be worn day and night. My current favourite is the Dr. Jart Ceramidin Cream and I absolutely love it because it quenches my dehydrated skin so deeply. It freaking feels amazing on and I don’t feel greasy or icky after putting it on. Sucks that it’s always sold out at Sephora. It honestly does make a difference in the way my skin feels and since I have been using it, I haven’t felt a bit dry or irritated. I cannot stress how smooth my skin feels at the moment, like better than baby-butt smooth! I promise!

Step Ten: SPF

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Purpose of this step: Koreans (Asians in general) are really really obsessed with SPF. It seems self-explanatory, but sun protection is crucial on a daily basis to maintain healthy skin. Applying SPF regularly, even when it’s cloudy, that’s the biggest differentiator in the Korean regimen.

What I used: I usually apply my SPF after my moisturizer every morning. I love physical sunscreen because they contain mineral ingredients like Zinc Oxide and so they protect from both UVA and UVB rays. The one I am currently using is the Shiseido Oil-Free SPF. I mean we all know why SPF is important and so it is really important to make it a big habit to use this on a daily even when it rains and really when the sun’s too hot and out there.

After spending a whole month working up on this routine, I am not going to lie that it did feel like a chore on some days and it was sometimes annoying for me to go through everything daily. Whenever I felt like I needed to unwind, I love it! I loved doing the whole circus, but being real here, 10 steps as a new mum will be quite hard for me to maintain and so I will probably end up keeping 5 to 7 of these steps for the future. Quite frankly, if you do have the time for the 10 steps skincare routine, then go for it, because the benefits are really there and I do see results, but life everything else in life, it’s work and you need to be dedicated.

 

Fresh summer bronzy look with just 6 products!

It’s the summertime and it’s the perfect time to glow to the heavens. I do already have that pregnancy glow that everyone envies…but I feel like since I am getting closer to due date, my dark circles are deepening as I am getting more tired, which doesn’t bother me much anyway. But just so I don’t look like a zombie for the rest of my pregnancy I am making efforts to put on a little bit of makeup. I don’t like to put a ton of it because it feels gross with the extreme heat we’ve been getting here in Montreal. This is why I usually like to use cream products during the summer because they blend nicer and stay put on the skin and blend as one rather than sitting on top. I also usually love to tan quite a bit in the summer; I like to spend a lot of time under the sun because being a golden goddess is the best way to go! Since I don’t want to end up with the “pregnancy mask”, I am more vigilant in being out in the sun and I make sure to put sunscreen and reapply whenever I need it, I have now converted to using a little bit of help with the glow/bronze department and I am actually enjoy it.

You don’t need a huge amount of products to look good….you can do it on a budget and what’s amazing in the beauty world is that many products have multi-purposes. You can, for example, use a lipstick as blush and eye shadow too…depending on the color obviously.

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So, with only 6 products, I have created an everyday simple, fresh summer look…with extra glow and extra bronze. This is for the woman on the go who wants to look good, without spending too much money or time…again, it’s not everybody’s cut of tea…but it works great for my current lifestyle.

1) L’Oreal Paris True Match Lumi Glotion Natural Glow Enhancer

This pretty much is the central focus of the entire look. I don’t usually wear foundation because I don’t like the texture of the look on my skin…I like to go natural most of the time and I try to rely on good skin as a canvas. This Glotion adds just the right about of glow and coverage because it is slightly darker than my skin tone; so it makes me look extra bronzy, which is why I love it. I don’t go crazy with it, but I put a pea size amount and mix it in my sunscreen and spread it all over my face and neck evenly. The slight tint in it makes my skin even and we can barley see the unevenness in my skin anymore and I am quite happy with that. I am starting to get a little darker around my mouth because of the hormones but nothing too crazy…but with this Glotion…I can get the evenness I am looking for. It’s a drugstore product and so it isn’t super expensive and a little bit goes a long way.

2) Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder

As soon as my base is done and I am satisfied, it’s straightforward from there, I either go out like this or add more color if I am feeling adventurous. Most of the time, I go out barefaced because it’s just simple. On the days I want to look extra put together I work on adding more bronze by using a bronzer. I have mentioned the Bobbi Brown bronzing powder before in a previous post and I am still an avid fan; it’s a good color and it blends well and for me it double as an eye shadow; it’s 2 in 1. When you can save up on using multiple products, then why not?! I use it on my eyelids to add more depth and sometimes on my lower lash line, depends if I’m feeling rebellious that day. You don’t necessarily have to use this bronzer in particular, you can stick to using your favorite…just working up the bronzer in a 3 shape around the forehead, cheeks and jawline…you’re good to go!

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3) MAC Powder Blush (PINK SWOON)

After bronzer….the color starts to come in. Adding blush is optional but, again, I don’t want to look dead or 1 dimensional, so adding blush is crucial at this point. I like to go for something either nude-y or something a little more pink…sometime coral but very rare. My current favorite is the MAC Pink Swoon blush…Mac blushes never seem to hit pan! I have had this for almost 2 years and it’s still going strong. Adding blush not to close to your nose will make you look much healthier and more defined. I like to add it a little closer to the ears and a blend it in closely with the bronzer so that it is all seamless.

4) Sephora All Access Glam Gold and Silver Eye and Face Palette

That’s when the fun starts!!! Extra highlight! I am always up for more highlight…expect I keep dropping mine and shattering them on the floor…so I always run out; every freaking time! Since I haven’t been out shopping for new highlights at the moment. I am trying to use up this palette so it doesn’t go to waste and so the highlighter has been the main focus…it’s not crazy bright but you can easily build it up. You, however, need to be careful so it doesn’t look chalky or powdery on the skin. I simply add this bad boy on my cheekbones, on my brow bones, some on the bridge of my nose and sometimes on my temples (sometimes). It adds a je ne sais quoi without being too in your face and that’s what I like. I don’t want to look like I spent 20 hours doing a simple makeup look.

5) Lancôme Monsieur Big Mascara

This step is a no brainer and well the most important of them all…MASACARA!! I seem to have lost the oomph on my lashes and I don’t know if that has to do with the pregnancy or just ageing in general; they just seem sad all the time…le boo!!! I have discovered this mascara because I heard so may people talk about it and I figured I tried so many mascaras, I have nothing to lose in trying a new one. So I went off to Sephora and bought it and I can instantly say that it is a love affair. This mascara transformed my lashes from non-existent to full on in your face. And the most wonderful part about it is that you can build it up…add more layers without having spidery lashes! Volume, curl and definition; all in one. This mascara is a total win for me.

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6) Lumière Lippie Stix lipstick ColourPop

Last but not least, adding lipstick just make you go from a 5 to a complete 10. Orange is usually my go to summer color, but lately I have been feeling the nude. This Lumiere Colourpop lippie stix is perfect, it’s easy to add on the go…no mirror needed. It’s like your lips but better. I am currently suffering from blueish/purpley lips due to the lack of oxygen getting there…lol 8 months pregnant here, my lungs are quite restricted. Adding this by either tapping it in or simply directly from the tube makes my lips better and gives me a much healthier look. I don’t like to fuss around with color much on my lips these days because I am constantly nibbling something; I don’t want to worry about reapplying too too much and this is a great option.

So there you have it boys and girls, this is my current summer makeup look using only 6 products….my current favorite 6 products. It’s quick, simple and easy and also perfect for the lazy gal or the gal on a budget. Remember, you don’t need to spend a huge sum to look like a million dollars…you just need a few products to enhance your natural beauty and you’re good to go!

How to deal with hormonal/pregnancy breakouts

Since hitting the sixth month mark, I feel like my body is in extra work mode; it’s heating up and wearing out easily…Not that it matters much, C’est la vie I guess! But for a couple of weeks now, I have been getting loads of little intruders around my chin and jaw line, it’s not a catastrophe, but the issue is there. Therefore, not to make matters worse and end up with hyperpigmentation issues, I want to deal with the breakouts now rather than later. Being pregnant is like carrying a hazard sign, I must be careful what I put on my face because not everything works and many ingredients are not to be used during pregnancy. So here are my tips and tricks on dealing with breakouts while pregnant.

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First thing I learned is to keep my face super hydrated, because when it is, your skin barrier is stronger. I am currently desert dry, like Death Valley dry and it burns like hell. So I keep slathering on lotion…but since I am currently out of my favourite deep hydrating moisturizers, I use whatever I find on hand that has as much less chemicals as possible. The one I am currently using is the Ahava Essential Day Moisturizer. I mean, it’s not the best one I have ever used, it hydrates, enough, but you need to keep adding layer after layer throughout the day, which bugs me. I want to put something just once and get on with my day. The more I keep my skin happy, the less it breaks out. So obviously, this is the biggest thing you want to focus on, to keep pimples at bay, because the hormonal ones are a little bitch! Obviously before hydrating, you want to make sure your skin is clean. So focus on cleaning your face twice a day!

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So whenever I have extreme and deep pimples, I like to mask, but since I have dry skin, I can’t use super drying masks. The one I am currently using is the Ahava Purifying Mud Mask; it’s a three minute mask, so it’s great to just do it quickly and it clears your face enough but doesn’t dry out since you don’t keep it on for too long. I have used better ones but this is okay for the moment. Plus the ingredient list isn’t scary and it’s made of Dead Sea mud; so natural minerals are at play. I do the mask, whenever I feel like my skin is really naughty and spotty. I usually like to put it on after I shower because my pores are open and I find the mask more efficient then.

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I have added this step into my skincare routine since December and I find that it makes a difference in the texture of my skin. I mean it isn’t a genius discovery, but for me, it worked! Since being a little bit too dry, I figured, the only way to keep my skin hydrated is to use an essence, but since there aren’t any avaible in Palestine, I opted for something more natural and that can easily be found in the grocery store. Rose water has made my skin more supple and more plump; I don’t feel like my skin is tight or feel like I’m Jason Voorhees. For the rose water, I like to either splash it on my face by patting it in or I like to spray it with a spray bottle (any bottle works). I do this step three times, kinda took that from the Korean skincare world, where apparently if you repeat your steps at least seven times, you get more benefits and more hydration. In fact, it does make a difference; I don’t do it seven times, I only do it three, but it’s enough for it to be noticeable. I keep my rose water in a spray bottle and keep it at hand so that whenever I need a boost during the day, I just spray my face and get on with life. I also, use it as a primer spray before my makeup (whenever I wear makeup) and as a setting spray. It’s light, it’s hydrating, it works wonders and it’s cheap!

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On days where I feel like I played with my face too much and feel like I might end up with a scar, I turn to Aloe Vera gel. Simple, I don’t buy it from anywhere, I just get a leaf from the street; there are plenty of Aloe Vera plants out here in Palestine; since it’s pretty hot and they grow all year round. I keep one leaf in my fridge available at all times and all I do is cut a small piece of it and get the gel out….rub it all over my face and sleep with it overnight, the next morning, I wake up with better and happier skin. I repeat that a couple of times during the week and whenever I feel like my scars have healed, I stop using it. Aloe Vera gel is absolutely amazing for scar healing and burns and cuts…so why spend so much money on scar erasing creams when you can just use natural Aloe Vera gel.

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Last but not least, when there are super stubborn cystic bumps…which are kinda rare, but present, I just go for my trusted little magic in a tub. I have spoken about this in previous posts and it continues to dominate the charts, my Mario Badescu drying cream is prefect for those hard to beat bumps. It’s effective and a little tub can last you ages. I use it as a spot treatment; I don’t put it all over my face, since it is pretty drying and a little but goes a long way. But, from my own experience, I promise you that it really does work!

So here are my little tips and tricks, hope that they help you in beating those little hormonal monsters that grow out of nowhere. Hormonal breakouts are the worst and I hate how painful they are! But remember the key to keeping breakouts at bay and avoiding hyperpigmentation is to always keep your skin deeply hydrated; from the inside out!!! And don’t pick at them!

Zhush up your face…in 5 minutes!

One of the things that has been keeping me happy these past few weeks is maintaining my skin healthy and hydrated at all times. Even more so, having minimal makeup has been boosting my energy and making me feel like a pretty little lady. I am not known to sport heavy bases such as foundation or even BB cream; I’ll do that for certain occasion, but not on a daily basis. I feel like I look too made up and sometimes with my drier spots, the base will show and it can look quite ugly. Since I am having good skin at the moment, I haven’t been needing much concealing anyway, except for my deep dark under eye area. In today’s blog post, I would like to share the products that I have been using on a daily basis to zhush up my look.

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I certainly take the time to clean my face in the morning and at night…but sometimes, I feel like I can’t be bothered and end up just slashing my face with water and call it a day. However, I force myself to make an effort and enjoy it now before things get hectic in a couple of months. So here are the products I use and this literally takes me 5 minutes to do.

1- AHAVA Time to Hydrate Essential Day Moisturizer

First and foremost, I make sure to have a good base and so I moisturize my crazy dry skin with the Ahava . Even though this has a thick cream consistency, it’s easily absorbed by the skin. It doesn’t leave any residue or sticky feeling. The skin feels plump and ready for the day! I apply a small amount because a little bit goes a long way and take it down to my neck as well.

2- Avène Very High Protection Cream SPF 50+

After moisturizing is the exciting part!!! Where glow comes into play!!! I obviously put on my SPF cream on, but I mix it with a little bit of wonder glow from Charlotte Tilbury. This Avène SPF is honeslty the only one that doesn’t bug me as much as other ones do. I sometimes leaves a white cast if you put too much of it…so I always make sure to put only half a pump and apply it everywhere even down my neck. The wonder glow is basically a liquid slightly tinted glow with micro gold glitters. It blends into the skin beautiful and leave a light layer of shine and this somewhat blurs the slight imperfection you may have with your skin.

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3- Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer (Shade: Ginger)

I then proceed to adding some concealer to my under eye area…I don’t put it everywhere under my eye as it will look weird without full makeup. I just tend to take some bit of product with my ring finger, warm it up and put it where it’s really dark and sometimes I set it and other times I don’t….depends on how I feel really. This has been my go-to concealer for a couple of years now…it’s good and doesn’t crease on me.

4- Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder (Shade: Medium 2)

Then to add some dimension to my eyes, I add a little bit of Bobbi Brown’s Bronzing powder (in the color Medium 2). A wash of color on my crease and voila, the trick is done. It instantly just wakes my face up and adds color to my sometimes pales yellowish tone. I know it’s a bronzer but I prefer to use it on my eyelids and have been since I got it as a sample a while ago, I never even tried it as a bronzer yet. I used it almost on the daily and I made a dent in it. I even use it as a transition shade in my crease whenever i do heavier makeup looks.

5- Bobbi Brown Lipstick (Shade: Brownie)

My life obviously wouldn’t be complete without doing lipstick! I never go out the house without lipstick. It usually is the only product I will put on my face most days. Lipstick is so crucial in my life and I usually double it as blusher…just because I am lazy and just because it saves me time. I apply a little bit of lipstick onto my fingers…warm it up and pat it onto my cheeks ever so slightly and there I have an almost complete look.

6- L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara

I add mascara, obviously! This L’Oreal mascara isn’t my favorite one out there, but it does the job of giving me something. It doesn’t hold well, but it lasts for a good amount of time…it starts flaking off after a couple of hours, but then again, for the price, can’t complain.

7- E.L.F Baked Highlighter (Shade: Blush Gems)

Last but not least, how could life be interesting if you don’t add even more highlight on your face? I mean obviously you want your cheeks to be popping! I add this really affordable E.L.F highlighter with a light brush dusting over my cheekbones, down the bridge of my nose and on the high points of my brows and sometimes forehead.

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And there you have it, the 5 minute wake-up makeup…minimum products required. Keep me fresh and happy and all th

Empties…products I’ve used up. YAY, Nay or Meh?

I have this weird guilty pleasure in watching people’s videos on Youtube of empty products…their thoughts and reviews. Empties posts are so thrilling…it’s totes weird, I know, but super super satisfying. So, today, I thought I would share with you the products I have used up in the past couple of months and my thoughts on them…would I repurchase or not. I have a total of 21 products for today’s post and without making this too long…let’s get into it.

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1- Clean and Clear Exfoliating Daily Wash

I got this product on a total whim, because I was away (in Jordan) and didn’t carry my favorite wash with me…I was a little afraid to use it because my skin get irritated super easily and exfoliating daily didn’t sound like a good option. However, despite the name, I ended up loving this product! It does what it promises to do. It cleans, gently, unclogs the pores and exfoliates without drying the skin and without giving it the tight feeling you get sometimes from certain cleansers. It’s super inexpensive (10$ CAD) and lasts forever. I ended up repurchasing this and have now 2 back ups for whenever I run out of my other cleansers. All in all, I would say this is a win!

2- Anthony Deep Pore Cleansing Clay

This product is developed for men and borrowed by women…as it is written on the bottle, the Anthony range at Sephora is for men, but women aren’t afraid to use it. I got this mask because I needed something potent, fast and efficient…and this is exactly what I got with this  product. The fast is amazing! It’s a clay mask that you leave on from 5 to 10 minutes (I would go for 5 at first, because it burns) and it’s filled with amazing ingredients such as Vitamins A, C and E. It nourishes the skin while cleansing it. I do feel super squeaky clean after using it. It has a strong menthol-y smell and so at first it made me tear…but then when I got used to it…the smell didn’t bother me anymore. The results are great and I would definitely repurchase it. It’s sold at Sephora for 29$ CAD and for the price and the quality…there’s no arguing here that this is a must in your skin emergency saving kit. I even let my husband use it with me…and we sit there all red and demonic, but both end up with clear looking skin.

3- Dove Regenerative Nourishment Serum in Oil for damaged and over-processed hair

This is literally the bomb! I discovered this on a whim at the drugstore when I was in search of a serum to leave in my hair after the shower. I was going through a rough time and my hair was always freaking dry…even though I am not a hair coloring whore…I mean I love it on others…but then I feel bad doing it to my hair…Anyway, the ends of my hair are allllways dry…and when I started using this, it completely changed. This Dove oil saved my ends and made my hair shiner, healthier and just over all good looking. I bought this for a grand hefty total of 6$ CAD and let me tell that this is the best 6$ I have ever spent in my life…this product  does what it promises to do and you see results instantly…and for colored, damaged hair, the results would be even more amazing.

4- Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara

I have spoken about this mascara before…and you can read the full review here…but this is just to share that I finished it (again!). This is my go to mascara and I am in love with it. I have been using it for a year now..and I got this sample in a Sephora sale…but just to say…this mascara is bomb! It’s a bit expensive (33$ CAD), but it gives me the results I want…volume and length and lasts all day. So a total yay for that one!

5- Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate

This is definitely on the price side of things…I mean this 30ml bottle costs 46$ CAD..but Kiehl’s is a great brand and a lot of their products are worth the splurge. I got this a few years ago when I had skin issues and had loads of hyperpigmentation spots…and found it amazing as it helped nourish and heal my skin. Then, I forgot about it and rediscovered it again this year. I have been using it every night before my moisturizer and dab into my skin and just let it sink in before adding my other layers. ANDDD, it smells amazing! It’s a mix of essential oils which help heal the skin, regenerate the skin and plump the skin by morning. This is a definite repurchase product and I will continue to use it in my routine.

6- The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

I discovered this brand a little while back by luck and since it was inexpensive and had great reviews…I wanted to check it out and see if I found something I liked to add into my skincare regimen. I got the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% serum because I wanted clear skin before the wedding. I started using this serum in May and I can absolutely certify that it helped my skin stay healthy and clear. Wheever I broke out…it was always mild and it clear instantly. I used this along side the Kiehl’s serum…I used this on in the AM and then put my SPF on. What I liked about the Ordinary products is that they’re efficient, inexpensive and they’re very thought out. There’s science behind each product and they offer the best for your skin without damaging it. I feel like the products are very potent…but in such a gentle way. Niacinamide helps reduce blemishes by decongesting the skin gently. It also helps keep the skin oils/sebum in check…it balances things out and so you’ve got fewer break outs. The zinc in this, on the other hand, helps heal the skin faster and it is known to be a very effective ingredient for acne-prone skin. For 12$ CAD, I would say, this product is a winner.

7- Bleu Lavande “Être” Hand Cream

This lavender hand cream smells divine! This 50ml tube costs 12$ CAD and it lasts for a long time…depends on how much product you use on a daily basis. Since this is a tube that I would typically throw in my bag, it could go for weeks before it finishes. Bleu Lavende is a Canadian based company that makes a wide range variety of therapeutic home, health and beauty products. Obviously, we all know that lavender essential oil acts against stress and anxiety. This cream also contains good ingredients that helps with the growth and balance of the skin tissue. It’s a great product to keep close as it softens dry skin by giving it elasticity and protects against attacks from the cold. There’s also grape seed oil, which also nourishes the skin and keeps it smooth. And finally, the Shea butter protects the skin against dryness while maintaining its elasticity. Overall, this is a good handy cream to use on a daily basis as it doesn’t make you feel greasy…but it hydrates you enough to keep you happy!

8- Schwarzkopf BC SCALPTHERAPY Dandruff Control Shampoo

Since moving countries, I have had so many issues with my hair because it hasn’t been agreeing with the water…its’ too salty I guess. I never had dandruff and dryness issues as much as I do now…or up until I found this gem. I don’t like to use Head & Shoulders because I feel like it dries out my hair and doesn’t completely get rid of the dandruff issues. Then, I went it a random hair shop in Jordan hoping to find the holy grail that will save my hair…and then I crossed this one; the Schwarzkopf dandruff control shampoo helped clear the issue and deep cleaning my scalp while being gentle on the actual hair strands (if that makes any sense). For 200ml, you pay 34.00$ CAD and I say it’s completely worth it. I feel like it’s like a clarifying shampoo…which means, you do not need to use it every time you shower because it could get a little aggressive.  This is a definite yay in my book!

9- BIOSSANCE Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel

For 68$ CAD (15ml), I was hoping I would love this. This eye gel cream was a little bit of a meh product. For what it claims to do, I would have loved to see the results. Now, I purchased this a few months ago on the Sephora website in search of the perfect eye cream to help with my darkness for the wedding…then I found this through the high rated 5-star section. I decided, despite the hefty price tag, I would try it anyway. After a few months of using this, I wasn’t too impressed. This eye gel promises to reduce puffiness and dark circles. I felt like the only thing it did to me was hydrate my under eye area…which is something I could get from any cream from the drug store. What I did like though, about this cream, is that it was lightweight when applied and scentless; which is perfect for sensitive skin.

10- COSRX Low PH Good Morning Gel Cleanser

Without going in too much depth…this is my holy grail, ride or die, most amazing, most favorite cleanser of alllll time. I have spoken about this COSRX cleanser multiple times on my blog and to know my full thoughts, you can read this. This is my 4th bottle and I will continue to repurchase it. For 10$, this is the best cleanser I have used in my entire life…even more so than higher end cleansers.

11- ALTERNA Haircare Caviar Repair Multi-Vitamin Heat Protection Spray

I got this as a sample and LOVED it! Not only is it a heat protectant, I feel like it restores your hair as well. This spray contains caviar extract,  vitamin C, E, A, B6, B12 and Biotin…which all help restore hydration, strength, vibrancy, and elasticity to the hair. The mixture of marine botanicals deliver moisture and help repair damage, resulting in hydrated, perfectly smooth strands. With the dry issues I have been having, my ends would end up looking more damaged and fried, after using this it made my hair so soft and AMAZING and restored. I will certainly be purchasing this! You can find it on the Sephora website for 37.50$ CAD. Pricey but worth it.

12- The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

Hyaluronic acid is a moisture binding ingredient, which means, it will lock in moisture into your skin and help revive it and hydrate it deeply. Young,  juicy and supple skin is exactly what you get when using hyaluronic acid on a regular basis. Vitamin B5 helps heal, protect, sooth and regenerate the skin. The Ordinary people have got this skincare game in the basket. They make products that are super potent but affordable. This is what I love about this brand, they care about making things right and providing products for consumers to truly benefit from. So for 12$ CAD, I would say that this a definite repurchase item…in fact, I already repurchased it…just waiting for it in the mail!

13- Bioderma Purifying Cleansing Micelle Solution

This micelle solution is the bomb! I use it liberally to cleanse my skin and to remove makeup. It is one of the few micelle waters that doesn’t burn or sting my eyes. This water cleanses and removes makeup without drying out the skin What I like about this is that it purifies my skin gently and I can sometimes get away with just using this, rather than washing my whole face with cleanser. On morning, where I can’t be bother to wash my face…I just splash some water and then use this micelle solution on a cotton pad and then voila! my skin feels clean, refreshed and new. This 500ml bottle costs about 15$ CAD, but they sometimes comes in a 2 for 1 special, which comes a little bit cheaper. For anyone looking for a good micelle solution, Bioderma is the brand to look for!

14- Caudalie Eau de Beauté BEAUTY ELIXIR

I first started using this 3 years ago when I was in search of a water-y spray to help with dryness on the plane. I got it on a whim at the Sephora aisle of doom by the cash…and I ended up LOVING it. This stuff is amazing…I mean it doesn’t do much to the skin except give it a little oomph and a little glow.  The beauty elixir is a toning mist that sets makeup (which is the way I use it most of the time), provides an instant burst of radiance, and tightens the appearance of pores. The smell is calming and soothing and it’s so yummy and I will continue to repurchase it even though it does nothing else than give you a glow. The spray is good and it distributes the water in a lightweight mist. The 30ml bottle runs for 22$ CAD, it’s a little expensive and is such a princess product but I love it anyway.

15- TOO FACED Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara

I’m not going to write too too much on this…because I tired it and it sucked. SO icky, so sticky and so freaking hard to remove…and it freaking clumps and gets everywhere. Don’t understand the waterproof part of it, because it smudges everywhere…perhaps my lashes are too wild for it, however, this is a big nay for me. For 30$ CAD I was hoping it would give me the results I was looking for.

16- BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal

I adore this little bugger!! LOVE ITTTT!!! It’s basically a liquid highlighter which you can use alone or mixed into your moisturizers, makeup, etc…I usually preferred to put it into my SPF cream. This always gave my skin a natural and healthy glow and people always complimented me on the days I was wearing it. This little bottle is sample size, as I bought it in a set for the wedding…I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it… and I ended up loving it! I would repurchase it for sure at some point…but right now I have something else I am using and I am equally loving. Also, 50$, that’s essspenssivvee!! However, here’s a big yay to BECCA for making such amazing highlighters!

17- Caviar CC Cream 10 in 1 Complete Correction Leave-in Hair Perfector

I have used this multiples times before and this is only a sample size I got during a purchase at Sephora. But I did buy the full size and I think it’s totes worth it. It’s 31$ CAD for 2.5oz, but using a little bit of it goes a long way. This leave in conditioner/treatment smells freaking awesome and it leaves the hair supple, healthy, hydrated and shiny. It’s a 10 in 1 product and so you get a lot of benefits using it. It provides moisture, shine, smoothness, softness, anti-breakage, heat protection, light hold, UV protection, manageability, and strength. Basically the best cocktail your hair can ever ask for—to look absolutely beautiful, healthy, and flawless. I usually either use this after the shower on my damp hair or on dry hair the next day I wash my hair…either way, you get the results. This is a staple in my hair care regimen.

 

 

18- The Ordinary “Buffet”

This is basically a mix of peptides that claim to help keep the skin youthful and healthy…I kindda felt that it did nothing to the skin and it was a little bit of an added layer into my regimen for nothing. I wouldn’t repurchase this…it’s wasn’t nay but more of a meh. Peptides are amino-acids that are the foundation and building blocks of proteins in the skin. This is the only product from the The Ordinary range that I would not repurchase.

19- Boscia TSUAKI Swirl two-part gel & cream deep hydration moisturizer

This swirled formula combines a gel and a cream to help hydrate the skin and lock in moisture. The white cream is obviously the heavier of the 2 consistencies and it is there to provide the deep hydrating and firming ingredients, including tsubaki (camellia) oil and rice bran. The gel, however, contains the lighter nourishing ingredients, like sodium hyaluronate. At first I liked it, but when I started it using it more and more, I ended up hating it as it gave me little white heads along my cheeks and I knew it ended up being too heavy for my skin. I felt like my skin got a bit too greasy with this product and so this is not a repurchase for e. I would only use it for when my skin is super dry and for 50$ that comes out expensive.

20- Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream

I was searching high and low for the perfect eye cream that will help hydrate the skin around my eyes and de-puff it, until this guy. I got this in the 100 points exchange at Sephora and I am so glad I did because I found the perfect eye cream. This is hydrating but not heavy…it skins into the skin beautifully and provides enough moisture. I feel like concealer goes on so much smoother every time I use this little bad boy. It’s 69$ CAD, you get 15ml and I know it sounds insane but I would say it’s worth the splurge.

21- Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Crayon in Sunset

Last but not least, I have spoken about the Marc Jacobs makeup line in previous posts…this is the only high end brand I am willing to spend my money on. Marc Jacobs has got everything down with this line. The mascara, the eye shadows, the eyeliners…they’re just to die for. The quality and the consistency is amazing and to be honest, the price isn’t too bad for what you get. I mean, yes I paid 33$ for this eyeliner, but I have had it since December and it’s still going strong…well up until it dried up recently after I left the cap open for a few days…le boo!!!!! Other than that, the colors are awesome, the quality is the bomb and the lasting power is so freaking insane. They glide on smoothly and stay put alllll day…this is a definite must for those who are in search of good quality liners that don’t move or go anywhere.

 

I hope you enjoyed this post and let me know which of these products you have used and loved and which you have hated…would love to hear your thoughts!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Mario Badescu: little powerful magic potion…

So we all know the big stress we go through sometimes before a big event and our skin just goes out of control, then pimples start to surface and throw on a party on your face…it’s the most annoying feeling ever to put foundation over bumpy skin…because you know those little suckers will show up even more with foundation on top. For my wedding, I prepped myself ahead of time and knew that I needed to have one of those in hand. It is seriously magic in a bottle. I used this cream whenever I had bad skin days and woke up with healed, brighter skin.

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Whenever you have a zit or little sucker pimple on the surface just put a little on the spot and leave it overnight and when you wake up, it’s not there anymore! I am just not making this up…the drying cream is literally magic. I know it’s called drying and it does exactly that without actually drying or cracking your skin. It’s a thick cream and a little goes a long way. You can either put this on the spot directly and leave it or you can do like I do and put a very think, even layer all over the face and sleep with it. I use it as an overnight sleeping mask and when I wake up in the morning, my skin is clear and radiant.

I used this the week before my wedding because I was breaking out like crazy from the stress and because I am pmsing and getting closer to my period…sucks but when I got to the wedding day, I woke up with much clearer skin and my makeup applied evenly and I was super pleased with the results. Plus, I have uber sensitive skin, so if this doesn’t damage my skin, then I know it’s worth the investment.

This Drying Cream is made to help shrink the appearance of pimples and small, under-the-surface bumps (it really does help with that!!!!). This unique, magic product is formulated with Sulfur and Zinc Oxide to clarify skin and draw out pore-clogging impurities. It also contains a soothing blend of Aloe Vera, Biotin, Lemon Extract, Lysine, and Vitamins B and E  which all help ensure that skin remains balanced.

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This has been a part of skincare routine for the past year and it is staying there because it acutally does work…and the thing is that you don’t need to use it on a daily basis, you just use it on your bad skin days and it works perfectly fine. I went through 5 or 6 tubs of this over the past year because I was going through some stressful times but now…my current tub has lasted me 3 months and I still have loads left…it runs for 17$ USD for 0.5oz, so the price isn’t bad for something that actually works.

If you are looking for something that will beat the bad break outs without damaging or drying your skin, then you should invest in this little magic potion because it works!

 

Cosrx Low Ph Good Morning Gel Cleanser

I found this cleanser on a whim…I was really annoyed having tight skin every time I washed my face. I was looking for something gentle yet efficient and stumbled upon this baby; been using it for 5 months now and I can honestly say that this is MY cleanser…I ain’t using anything else, ever!

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The Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser is absolutely wonderful. Why??? Because of its low pH for one and it has tea tree oil for two. Tea tree oil is an amazing anti-inflammatory and antiseptic product; it helps tremendously with acne-prone skin as it heels wounds and cuts. So, this cleanser has a particular smell but it’s not invasive, because it smells like tea tree but ever so slightly. This cleanser’s natural ingredients are gentle but super effective. What I like about this cleanser in particular is that the low pH of 5.0-6.0 is optimal for the skin because it restores its balance and helps to reduce irritations. It’s so gentle you barley notice it deeply cleansing your skin! It gently removes build-up of sebum and dead skin cells. I know it is to be used in the AM only, as it is written on the bottle, but that doesn’t stop me for using it in the PM as well. And, what’s even more awesome is that it’s pretty affordable (12.38$ on Amazon). This cleanser is bomb, seriously.

I have used COSRX products before and never have been disappointed. I am super happy with the fact that it doesn’t leave my sensitive skin tight or dry. I use it hand in hand with my FOREO brush and this is what I will be using for a while. I am very very satisfied and will not change it.

If you have sensitive acne-prone skin, then this is your guy!