LIQUID GOLD

Facial oils continue to hold their place as the most popular skincare treatment on the market. There are now literally hundreds to choose from and options for every skin type.

So which one do you choose? The first thing you want to look for is the ingredients. The most potent and effective oils are going to be the ones that are 100% natural, cold pressed and unrefined, with no chemical additives or silicones. Josie Maran Argan Oil is a perfect example, which is why I have been a dedicated user for years.

There have been several new products from her line over the years (I use her cleansing oil, scrub and honey body balms religiously), but her newest product knocks all other oils I have tried out of the park!

The new Argan Reserve Healthy Skin Concentrate is literally liquid gold! The holy grail of pure facial oils. Unlike the original oils, this concentrated is made up of other parts of the argan tree including the leaves and argan press cake.

Firstly, each bottle is signed and marked with a number indicating which batch it came from. This oil is so unique in that it it will be made in limited quantities each year when the leaves are sustainably harvested. I have bought a few bottles just to ensure I always have a backup!

I love the rich golden color and it absorbs like a dream! I use it as the last step in my skincare routine after all of my other products have thoroughly absorbed. The smell is a bit stronger than the original oil, but not unpleasant by any means, just a bit more herbal with a nutty nuance.

The results have been phenomenal! My skin has never been more smooth and radiant, which is saying something because I actually have great skin. (No not naturally! Great skin takes a ton of work, sunscreen, the right products, and a ton of water consumption!)

If you have been curious to try a facial oil for the first time, or are looking to switch what you are currently using, I recommend this one above all others!

Josie Maran Healthy Skin Concentrate Argan Oil $78

A SUNSCREEN FOR THE MODERN AGE

Some of my friend’s excuse(s) for not using sunscreen……..it’s sticky, it leaves my face oily, it breaks me out, it makes me look chalky, it smells bad. Those are some of the reasons I hear from other people as to why they do not regularly use sunscreen.

Now, I have had my fair share of issues with sunscreen as well, but that hasn’t deterred me from using it. After all, I would rather get the occasional break out or have to invest in a ton of blotting papers than have wrinkles and age spots. I have just been content with the fact that sun protection products for the face can’t always be perfect……….or can they?

Cover FX Clear Cover Invisible Sunscreen  Broad Spectrum SPF 30 $45
Cover FX Clear Cover Invisible Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 $45

Yes they can be perfect and more! I have found the Holy Grail of sunscreens! This newest formula from Cover FX IS perfect. It is not sticky, greasy, and doesn’t leave a white cast. It has a very slight sunscreen smell, but that dissipates very quickly.

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It goes on completely clear, and the best part…it acts as a face primer! It goes on smooth and absorbs within seconds. The real test obviously is how effective it is at protecting your face. Well, I went to a theme park weeks ago, I was there all day, the sun was shining, and no sunburn. SPF 30 is pretty decent for everyday. This sunscreen one ups all the others even more with its antioxidant packed formula, along with brightening and moisturizing properties. It isn’t overly moisturizing, so those of you who have the oiliest skin in the Summer but still want a little something for dry patches; this may be all you need.

The bottle is a pump, so you will not lose effectiveness from the product being exposed to oxygen.

I cannot find the words to say how much I love this stuff. It is absolutely for everyone. Even the sunscreen itself is a gentle formulation, so you will be hard pressed to find someone who will have a bad reaction to this. I even put my tried and true Perricone MD Photoplasma on the back burner!

Clear Cover wins my vote for product innovation of the year!

THE BEST OIL CLEANSERS

If you have not been using an oil to clean your face in the evening, then you desperately need to start!  Like Yesterday!

Despite what you may think about your most effective skin stripping cleanser, it will not rid you of all of the makeup, dirt, and pollutants that have been congesting your visage throughout the day. In the past, I had developed the bad habit of over cleansing. I was a novice, just beginning my skincare routine journey. I remember using the Clinique makeup removing gel cleanser to take off  my face in the evening, and my skin would be left completely dry and tight. Even after that when I used my toner, I would still see traces of makeup residue left on the cotton pad. All of that changed once I started habitually using oil cleansers years ago. I even use them when I don’t have any makeup on. It just ensures that my skin is that much cleaner.

The first thing you should know about oil cleansers is that they should NOT be your only cleansing method. They work best and most efficiently as a pre-cleanser. They work to penetrate into your pores and pull out what is trapped, removing all traces of makeup (even mascara), all while conditioning your skin without any stripping. The trick is in finding the right type of oil cleanser.

All oil cleansers should emulsify and become milky when they are rinsed off. Your skin should not be left with any oily residue. The best oil cleansers will also always use quality natural oils. These are the only oils that will actually penetrate and benefit your skin. Mineral oil does nothing but sit on top of your skin. It is such a cheap filler oil, I would not want a product that contained it anyway. As a general rule, never buy beauty or skincare products that contain mineral oil, especially expensive ones.

If you are on the fence about which cleansing oils to use, I have narrowed it down to my 5 favorites. They are truly the best ones I have found so far.

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil
DHC Deep Cleansing Oil $28 

This is the first oil cleanser I ever used, and is still the one I grab when I need some really deep pre-cleansing. I love it for when I need to take off some really potent sunscreen. It is olive oil based, so it is very soothing if you have irritated skin.

L'Occitane Shea Cleansing Oil
L’Occitane Shea Cleansing Oil $24 

This oil cleanser is by far the most moisturizing one I have tried. Shea butter as you know is one of the best emollients for skin, so it is my top pick for the cold Winter months. Sunflower oil rounds out the formula along with highly nourishing baobab oil. If you don’t know anything about baobab oil then you are missing out on a prime treat for skin. Baobab oil contains linoleic, oleic, and linolenic acid, which are very concentrated fatty acids. They actually restore the epidermis and maintain the health of cell membranes. Who knew you could get all of that from an oil cleanser!

AmorePacific Treatment Cleansing Oil
AmorePacific Treatment Cleansing Oil $50 

This oil is on the expensive side, but for what you are getting it is totally worth the splurge! You get the benefits of coconut oil, but it doesn’t stop there, orbignya and camellia seed oils blend with brightening oils and ginger extract; which has an energizing effect on skin. If you travel quite a bit, this would be a good pick. It makes my skin look completely refreshed and renewed after using. I almost want to use it as a moisturizing facial oil sometimes.

Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil
Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil $32 

I love how this oil smells! It has a pretty fruity aroma. Anti-oxidant rich grapeseed oil is blended with natural sunflower, argan, and olive oils; and brightening grapefruit seed oil. This is a good choice for Summer since it is so light and silky.

Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil
Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil $48 

This is the latest one I have tried. I am loving camellia oil right now, and that is the main oil in this product along with rice bran oil. I also love anything with green tea, it’s a great anti-oxidant. What’s different about this is that it is moisturizing but also will help to control oil. I would call this a balancing oil cleanser. That means it will be perfectly suited for those that tend to have oilier skin. Acne prone individuals should not be afraid to use this one either. They call it “pure” for a reason.

Any of these oil cleansers would be a great pick for everyday use all year round, but I love the fact that they are each a little bit different and would suit certain skin types better than the others might.

WANT A RADIANT COMPLEXION? THINK LEMONS

 I remember one of my childhood friends used to spray a ton of lemon juice and water in her hair to get those natural looking sun-kissed highlights. If you have ever done that then you most likely know that if you spray a mixture of lemon juice in your hair, it will become lighter and brighter. The same is fortunately true when you apply lemon juice to your skin; fresh lemon juice, not the concentrate from the bottle. Lemons act as a natural exfoliant, thanks to the concentrated amounts of citric acid; while Vitamin C works to brighten. Lemon juice will lighten dark spots and freckles and reduce oiliness. The anti-fungal properties in lemons will also treat acne. You also get the added benefits of calcium and magnesium. It truly is a super fruit!

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 A lemon enzyme facial or a fruit acid peel are some of my favorite ways to get my skin glowing. Lemon infused facial treatments can be easily overdone, however. The trick is to use it in an occasional treatment and not as part of your everyday routine. Lemon juice is harsh. If it will strip away the enamel from your teeth, it will strip away more layers of your skin than you actually need it to. You must also never expose skin to direct sunlight if you have any sort of concentrated lemon product on your face. It will cause your skin to become sensitive or could cause a phototoxic reaction, which is true for any type of acid used in facial products. Everything in moderation is my motto!

So what type of product should you use? I have found that you will get the best balance of effective yet gentle, with a mask or peel. Then you can control the amount of time you have the product on your face. If you have sensitive skin, start out slow and then work your way up to more frequent use.

Here are my top picks for the best lemon based facial products!

Fresh Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy Boosting Face Mask $62
Fresh Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy Boosting Face Mask $62 

I love this new facial from Fresh! It works so effectively and is one of my new favorite go to facials. It is 50% concentrated crushed fruit! You can see the bits of lemon. That is a ton of natural fruit AHA! My skin just looks glowing after. The recommended usage for this product is leaving on for 10 minutes, but I would start out with 5 and see how your skin reacts. I am used to regular exfoliation treatments, so for me it is a perfect pick me up. It smells fruity too.

Ole Henriksen Lemon Strip Flash Peel $48
Ole Henriksen Lemon Strip Flash Peel $48

This is great for those of you with sensitive skin. It is a combo of glycolic, lactic, and lemon citric acid; but also contains licorice extract, which will work to soothe any skin irritation.

Neogen Dermalogy Bio_peel Gauze Peeling Lemon $27
Neogen Dermalogy Bio_peel Gauze Peeling Lemon $27 

These little pads pack a punch; they are double-sided and work amazingly! One side of the pad applies the product, and the other sloughs the dead skin cells away. This product contains lemon and several other fruit acids along with other chemical exfoliators. These are great if you are just trying fruit acids for the first time; you get a months worth of product for under $30. I love how fresh and fruity they smell too. I like that these travel well. The pads are soaked with solution, so if you wanted to take a few in a separate container you could. Then you wouldn’t have to worry about wasting product or taking the entire jar with you.

EmerginC Vitamin C+Retinol Mask $50
EmerginC Vitamin C+Retinol Mask $50 

I have been using this product for years and it has yet to let me down. This is a sort of clay based mask. Aside from the lemon extracts, fruit acids, and retinol, there are some great antioxidants in this formula including green tea extract. This mask works so well to brighten and retexturize at the same time. It is quite powerful, so those with sensitive skin, I caution again to start out slow. I love this mask in the Winter too as it helps to combat flaky skin.

If you haven’t tried a lemon facial product before, you can’t go wrong with any of these. My face adores them! Just a fair warning: All of that lemony scented product may cause you to develop an unhealthy lemon meringue pie fetish!

 

MY NEW FAVORITE UNDEREYE CONCEALER

Most people throw everything but the kitchen sink into finding that perfect undereye concealer. When tackling dark circles, we adhere to the standards of trying to get enough sleep, cooling gel eye masks, vitamin K, and a plethora of eye creams promising to diminish those pesky bluish gray half moons. Unfortunately, even the most disciplined routine for undereye care doesn’t seem to get rid of them completely, and the truth of the matter is…….nothing really will. Dark circles are just obstacles we have to live with. They are hereditary in most cases, they can be a result of too much sun exposure, thinning of the delicate skin around the eye, and they can even be an indication of liver disease; in most serious cases. That is why a few blessed souls invented concealer, to fix what nature can’t seem to.

 Lydia O’Leary was the genius behind Covermark, which was the first foundation to be patented here in the US in 1928. In 1936 she launched her spot stick, the first concealer!

An infinite number of concealers have been created since then, and I personally cannot even count how many I have tried, but out of them all, this new concealer stands against the rest.

Introducing AmazingConcealer from Amazing Cosmetics!

Amazing Cosmetics AmazingConcealer $32
Amazing Cosmetics AmazingConcealer $32

This is everything you could want in a undereye concealer. Technically you can use this all over your face, and it would be great to use on areas that may have fine lines since it doesn’t settle into creases. It in fact plumps the areas where it is applied, thanks to hyaluronic acid. Moisturizing micro oils ensure the skin does not dry out throughout the day. I would describe this as a medium coverage concealer, although you can certainly layer it on thick, and I mean thick! It blends seamlessly! That is perhaps the best thing about this product, if you overapply a bit you can’t tell. I tried to and my eyes didn’t look cakey at all. This comes in a great range of 10 shades. I use the ivory, which is the lightest shade and has a slightly yellow undertone. My eyes look fresh and bright from the time I apply until the time I take it off! I can’t say enough about it.

My search is over for the best undereye concealer! My eyes can rest easy for now!

BEST NEW SUMMER FRAGRANCES

If you have about 15 or more different perfumes in your “Summer Collection” and you can’t find a single one to wear; then you may be a perfumaholic, and continuing to read this will not help your shameless praxis!

The note of choice in what I am smelling so far this season is citrus, particularly orange, mandarin, and tangerine. I love those citrus notes in a perfume because they tend to dry down with just the right amount of sweet; never sour or too cloying.

Korres Bellflower Tangerine Pink Pepper Eau de Toilette $38.50
Korres Bellflower Tangerine Pink Pepper Eau de Toilette $38.50 

This is such a great fragrance for the price! Under $40. I have never actually heard of a bellflower before, but was intrigued. It is a very delicate floral note. Imagine the soft scent of a fresh and sweet lily, very subtle in fact. The tangerine notes are balanced out by soft and rich woods. I was pleasantly surprised by this fragrance’s longevity. I hardly had to reapply and I could still smell the permeation on my scarf for the next few days. Great choice for someone who wants to add to their perfume collection without spending a great deal. There is also a shower gel and body lotion so you can layer.

Dior J'adore Eau Lumiere $124
Dior J’adore Eau Lumiere $124 

The original Dior J’adore is a staple in my collection, I simply love it. I have never preferred any of the other variations that have been released, but this one is the exception. It smells nothing like the original; it is very light and perfect for daytime, yet just as long-lasting. I can spray it on right before I leave and will have no need to reapply pretty much all day. That is a very good thing since the bottle only comes in a 3.4 oz. size and would be a pain to carry around in my bag. (If I am carrying around a full size bag for the day, I will take the whole bottle of perfume with me. I rarely bother with roll-ons or travel sizes…..unless I am traveling or using a clutch.) The blood orange notes mingle with the rose essence. The result is a romantic and subtly sweet floral.

Aerin Mediterranean Honeysuckle $28-$155
Aerin Mediterranean Honeysuckle $28-$155 

Another beautiful fragrance from Aerin Lauder! Here we have mandarin and grapefruit notes mixed with honeysuckle, jasmine, and other florals, with a beachy essence. I love the smell of honeysuckles, but that is not what I got from this perfume; which is in no way a bad thing. Instead, I think the honeysuckle compliments all of the other notes in the perfume. It is the perfect -lazy day out on the boat with cocktails and a very large sun hat- kind of scent.

Giorgio Armani Sun di Gioia $24-$90
Giorgio Armani Sun di Gioia $24-$90 

This is a warm and watery fragrance with notes of coconut, mixed with frangipani, freesia, jasmine, and other florals. Think of that warm sand and salty water nuance you get mixed with that classic suntan lotion smell, minus that synthetic coconut aftertaste.

Giorgio Armani Air di Gioia $24-$90
Giorgio Armani Air di Gioia $24-$90 

This is similar to the Sun di Gioia, on the beachy note side, but with more citrus character and a hint of musk. You get hints of mandarin and orange blossom mixed with a zingy pink peppercorn, soft peony, and warm patchouli. The moss notes give it an earthy appeal and ties it all together, It is very fresh, and almost could be a unisex fragrance as it is certainly not as sweet-smelling as the Sun di Gioia.

Issey Miyake L'Eau d'Issey Summer $78
Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey Summer $78 

Issey Miyake’s original fragrance is probably my favourite aquatic fragrance. I thought that this was going to be similar to that like the other versions that have come out before it, but I was wrong. It is a warm, sweet citrusy floral. Grapefruit, passionfruit, and guava mix with a warm base of vanilla and soft woods. If you are looking for a great Summer evening fragrance, this would be my pick. It is lovely and the dry down is even lovelier. I tend to gravitate towards anything vanilla based. This perfume is also a great value for the money, you get 3.3 oz so it will last you quite a while.

Tom Ford Orchid Soleil $82
Tom Ford Orchid Soleil $82 

I always tend to save the best for last! Take Tom Ford out of the mix for a moment (I am pretty partial when it comes to Tom Ford) and you will still have the most sensual of Summer fragrances. This is Black Orchid but lighter, with a bit more floral, vanilla and a creamy, nutty accord. Like a sugared praline. If only Starbucks would come up with a flavour that tasted like how this smells! This is a heavier fragrance that might be to heavy for someone who is looking for a fresher Summer scent, but for evening it is perfect! Orchid Soleil will also transition nicely into the Fall and Winter months so to me…..that justifies the splurge! Most definitely my go to for Summer!

NEW FACE MASKS FROM BOBBI BROWN

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Who doesn’t love a good face mask? A truly well formulated one can do wonders for numerous issues you might be having with your skin. There seems to be 100+ mask options for every type of problem from dryness, to dullness, acne, redness, enlarged pores, excess oil, and everything in between. With so many choices available it is difficult to choose just one. There are too many great ones!

I must have tried over 100 different face masks in my lifetime so far. What I have found over the years, is that I have always gravitated towards face formulated for dryness, exfoliation, and detoxing. Which is why Bobbi Brown’s new trio of face masks is so ideal,  they address all 3 of those issues.

Skin Nourish Coral Grass and Green Algae Moisture Mask $47
Skin Nourish Coral Grass and Green Algae Moisture Mask $47 

This mask is my most absolute favourite out of the three, and I will never be without it! It is so deeply mositurizing and soothing, yet it is pretty lightweight. Your skin just drinks up the nourishing natural oils, butters, plant extracts, and proteins.

Everyone should know by now that algae is extremely good for your skin, and green algae is one of the main ingredients. Aside from the algae, coral grass is the star component to the mask. Coral grass, also known as eucheuma cotonii or “sea bird’s nest” is a type of seaweed that is extremely rich in enzyme nutrients, calcium, iron, and proteins. When applied topically, coral grass will help to generate collagen production and protect it, as well as lock in vital moisture. This would be perfect to use after any in office microdermabrasion treatments or chemical peels.

There are also numerous health benefits to eating coral grass as well, and it is being touted as the next “big health food”. Don’t be surprised if coral grass starts popping up in all kinds of new skin care products.

After using this mask my skin was plumped, more even toned, and perfectly moisturized. The directions say to rinse it off after a few minutes but, I leave it on all night for a twice a week, overnight deep treatment. You do it for your hair after all, why not for your face? I truly cannot say enough about this one.

Instant Detox Hawaiian Sea Water and White Clay Mask $47
Instant Detox Hawaiian Sea Water and White Clay Mask $47

Clays in skin care are all synonymous for detoxing. Unfortunately, I have found that most of them are also synonymous for overly drying my skin out in the process of detoxing. That is why I love this one, it did not dry out my skin at all! I was just left with soft and clean skin.

Some detoxifying masks also tend to burn, and with this one all I felt was a slight refreshing tingle.

As for my pores, I noticed a difference, but nothing to write home about. There has yet to be a mask invented that will completely eradicate your pores for all time.

The white clay intrigued me, as I have never used a mask that contained it, and I find that the white clay is easier to work with when rinsing off. Black clay masks have become very popular as of late, but they can sometimes be a pain to remove; the black residue seems to linger.

This is a perfect option for someone who wants to detox but also has sensitive skin.

Radiance Boost Superfine Walnut Grain and Orange Oil Exfoliating Mask $47
Radiance Boost Superfine Walnut Grain and Orange Oil Exfoliating Mask $47 

I was a bit skeptical and cautious when I first tried this one. I was thinking “okay walnut grains…..I hope not like the go to apricot scrub of my early teens”. Obviously that was before I knew better. I was so pleasantly surprised by this one however, the grains really are superfine. My skin was retexturized and very smooth.

The addition of Vitamin C rich orange oil gives an antioxidant boost and extra exfoliation. For such an intense formula, I was surprised that my skin wasn’t slightly irritated. I would however, caution those who have a sunburn to not use this mask until after the burns have healed. I can imagine it would sting!

This trio has the makings of being the only mask collection you will ever need!

BRAND SPOTLIGHT: HERBIVORE SKINCARE

If you are anything like me, then you cannot resist trying most of the latest products that hit the shelves. I say “most of” because for the past six years or so, I have become very particular about what I put on my face, hair, and body etc. I will not buy something just because it is the latest obsession according to beauty gurus everywhere. The product had better work and the ingredient list must be stellar. After all, some of those products are very pricey, and some not worth the hefty price tag.

Browsing through Sephora, I came across Hebivore’s line of skincare. This brand does not do animal testing, which is also a requirement of the products I buy. Their ingredients are natural with no artificial colours, fragrances, or preservatives. Pretty ideal!

Herbivore Lapis Oil Balancing Facial Oil $72
Herbivore Lapis Oil Balancing Facial Oil $72

This is supposed to be ideal for those who have combination skin. This oil is formulated with Blue Tansy! If you love Sunday Riley Luna Oil, which I have been a faithful user for the past 9 months, then you know all about Blue Tansy and its calming and anti-aging benefits.

Herbivore Phoenix Cell Regenerating Facial Oil $88
Herbivore Phoenix Cell Regenerating Facial Oil $88

Rosehip seed oil is so good for your skin, and is the main oil in this product. This does contain jojoba oil, which is technically a wax, so it is going to be a heavier oil. Those with skin that tends to breakout may want to skip this one. It would be great for Winter though.

Herbivore Orchid Youth Preserving Facial Oil $64
Herbivore Orchid Youth Preserving Facial Oil $64

Orchid extracts are becoming very popular in skincare lately. I have yet to try an Orchid based product, but the ones I have seen have gotten some pretty good reviews.

Herbivore Coco Rose Coconut Oil Lip Conditioner $22
Herbivore Coco Rose Coconut Oil Lip Conditioner $22  

This is one of those dreamy edible lip butters. Anything coconut oil is always luscious!

Herbivore Coco Rose Coconut Oil Lip Polish $18
Herbivore Coco Rose Coconut Oil Lip Polish $18

Of course you need the lip polish to go with the lip balm. It will be hard for me to cheat on my Fresh Sugar Lip Polish, but I might have to just this once.

Herbivore Coco Rose Coconut Oil Body Polish $38
Herbivore Coco Rose Coconut Oil Body Polish $38

They had to make one for your entire body! I could see becoming quickly addicted to this stuff. The grains have a finer texture than most scrubs, which means it works better.

Rose Hibiscus Coconut Water Hydrating Facial Mist $32
Rose Hibiscus Coconut Water Hydrating Facial Mist $32

Coconut water is so beneficial for your body with its naturally occurring electrolytes, so it is going to do the same thing for your skin. The additional rose extracts give you some anti-oxidant power.

Herbivore Pink Clay Gentle Cleanse Clay Soap Bar $12
Herbivore Pink Clay Gentle Cleanse Clay Soap Bar $12

This is the only cleanser in their skincare lineup, but it will be a good one for all skin types. Not too drying, with gentle moisturizers.

Herbivore Pink Clay Hyalauronic Acid Mega Moisture Cream Mask $38
Herbivore Pink Clay Hyaluronic Acid Mega Moisture Cream Mask $48

This moisture mask is the real deal. Some great plant oils and plenty of hyaluronic acid. I would honestly use it as a sleeping facial instead of just a mask.

Herbivore Blue Tansy AHA BHA Resurfacing Clarity Mask $48 

This mask is going to provide some pretty potent chemical exfoliation, but with a more gentle delivery thanks to the soothing Blue Tansy.

Herbivore Brighten Pineapple Enzyme Gemstone Instant Glow Mask $48
Herbivore Brighten Pineapple Enzyme Gemstone Instant Glow Mask $48

I love a good fruit enzyme based mask. They really do brighten with the natural fruit acids, and their exfoliating properties are surprisingly effective. I love the Peter Thomas Roth Firm-X, and this mask would be along the same lines as that.

Herbivore Jasmine Glowing Hydration Body Oil $44
Herbivore Jasmine Glowing Hydration Body Oil $44

The brand has put out two body oils and I am so excited to try them! My product closet mostly consists of all things oil these days. Jasmine oil is so soothing! There are also a ton of other moisturizing oils in here to make you glowing soft skin.

Herbivore Citrine Ultra Hydration Neroli Body Oil $44
Herbivore Citrine Ultra Hydration Neroli Body Oil $44

Have you ever smelled anything with Neroli oil? It smells heavenly. This body oil is ultra moisturizing. This is going to be a Winter skin saver for me I can already tell.

That wraps it up for the latest from Herbivore! Have you tried this line yet, and if so what did you think?

YOU MIGHT BE A PUMPKIN ADDICT IF…………

As soon as the leaves start turning, one of the first things that always come to mind is pumpkin…….everything. Are you one of the 87.6% that become overly obsessed with pumpkin everything before, during, and possibly after the holiday seasons? If you are then you will want to further your decent into pumpkin madness with my favourite must have products.

Philosophy Pumpkin Icing Shower Gel $18
Philosophy Pumpkin Icing Shower Gel $18 

This is hands down my favourite pumpkin scented shower gel. Philosophy shower gels are just amazing, they all smell so wonderful. This is a sugary sweet, slightly spicy pumpkin scent. My entire bathroom smells like pumpkin pie after I am done taking a shower. The scent does not linger very long on your skin, but that is to be expected with a product that you are “washing off”. Just the scent experience itself while using it is enough to keep it in your body wash arsenal.

Arcona Pumpkin Body Lotion 10% $35
Arcona Pumpkin Body Lotion 10% $35

This is a very potent lotion. It contains 10% glycolic acid, so if you have sensitive skin, you might want to approach this product with caution. The results I get with it however, are phenomenal. It does tingle a bit sometimes, but is by no means uncomfortable. The tingle tells you it is working, sloughing off all of those dead skin cells. If you do spray tanning or go to the tanning bed, you will not want to use it either as it will breakdown your tan faster. The scent is heavenly, unadulterated, pumpkin bliss though. If you can stand some mild exfoliation, this will keep your skin baby soft.

Bath and Body Works Pumpkin Pie # Wick Candle $22
Bath and Body Works Pumpkin Pie 3 Wick Candle $22

If you love for your house to smell like you have been baking pumpkin pies all day everyday, then you are going to want to stock up on this candle. I am embarrassed to say how many of these are in my candle cabinet (yes I have a cabinet for my candles). I burn one downstairs and one upstairs, and my entire house smells like a pumpkin bakery. I can even smell it in the garage before I walk in. Love it!

Nest Fragrances Pumpkin Chai Liquid Hand Soap $22
Nest Fragrances Pumpkin Chai Liquid Hand Soap $22

This is one of the few hand soaps I ever buy. I particularly like the Nest hand soaps because they do not dry out my skin when I wash my hands. This stuff literally smells like they took the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte, and bottled it into a liquid soap form.

Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask $58
Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask $58

This mask does double time at exfoliating those dead skin cells off of your face. It is an all around miracle worker. The AHA and pumpkin enzymes break down dead cells, the vitamin C brightens, and the aluminum oxide crystals slough it all away. Use this cautiously if you have sensitive skin. I do get better results with this if I let the thin layer sit on my skin for a few minutes, then massage the crystals in. And yes, it also smells like pumpkins! I keep this in stock, as it is one of my favourite masks.

What is your favorite pumpkin product so far this year?

NOT YOUR GRANDMOTHER”S LIP BALM

Has there ever been a lip balm in existence worth the gargantuan price tag of $42? The answer is most certainly yes, if we are talking about Hourglass N° 28 Lip Treatment Oil.

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I had passed this product by so many times at Sephora, thinking it would end up being a waste of money. My curiosity always gets the better of me eventually.

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Now, at least half of the price tag for this stuff is owing to the fact that it features a 24 karat gold-plated applicator tip. While that is not a necessary attribute to this lip oil being spectacular, it is the thick, opaque, golden liquid contained inside that makes it worth it. With cooler weather fast approaching, I can already feel my skin and lips needing a head start in Winter maintenance. Oh delicate lip skin, why couldn’t you just have been designed with oil glands?

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This stuff is so incredibly moisturizing. There are 28 different essential oils in this formula. The oils provide a slew of benefits ranging from anti-oxidant protection, to intense hydration, as well as anti-aging benefits. I am also loving the fact that one of the most powerful moisturizers in the formula is the sunflower derived plant emollient Viamerine. I have never been a particular fan of slathering anything petroleum-based on any part of my body.

The good thing, is that a little really does go a long way. I do not see myself running out of this any time soon. It stays on all night, and if I apply during the day with no other lip product, I get some decent wear with it as well. The only negatives are that the applicator can be a bit tricky. You depress the button behind the applicator tip to dispense. The other thing I have found with this is that if you are a fan of Chanel Rouge Coco Shine lipstick (I am an habitual Intime user), I recommend that you use the lip oil it a little more sparingly as the lipstick tends to not stay on as well with it underneath. These factors will not deter me from keeping this in stock! My lips are so soft!

If you are looking for a new Winter save all for your lips, this might just do it for you!

THREE NEW DRY SHAMPOOS TO TRY NOW

I have a love/hate relationship with dry shampoo. Most I have tried end up leaving a sticky residue on my hair that weighs it down, then I just want to wash my hair. Some of them just smell too strong for my preference, I do not want my hair to overpower my perfume.

Currently, I am a fan of the Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo Powder Spray, but that will not stop me from trying to find the next best thing.

Macadamia Professional Dry Shampoo $25
Macadamia Professional Style Extend Dry Shampoo $25

This dry shampoo contains some oil absorbing starches, plus Macadamia and Argan oil for moisturizing. Some dry shampoos will dry your hair out too much, so the addition of these oils will most likely eliminate that problem, I have tried Macadamia Professional products in the past, and their Nourishing Moisture hair mask is one of my favourites. Their products always smell amazing and not too strong, so that is a plus.

Morrocanoil Dry Shampoo Light and Dark Tones $26
Morrocanoil Dry Shampoo Light and Dark Tones $26

Morrocanoil has come up with an interesting new take on dry shampoo, with two new formulas especially designed for different hair tones; one for light and one for dark. Of course with all of their products, Argan oil is going to be the key moisturizing ingredient in this. I think we can all agree that part of the appeal of Morrocanoil products is their signature scent. If this product smells like the rest of them, I am sold!

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk $20
Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk $20

I love products that contain any kind of oat extract, oil, or milk. It is so soothing and good for skin and scalp. I have not tried any Klorane products yet, but this has gotten some amazing reviews already. I love that this also comes in a 1 oz. travel size, so perfect to stash in my carry on!

What is your favourite dry shampoo?

FRAGRANCE SPOTLIGHT: PHILOSOPHY, MY PHILOSOPHY

Fragrance layering is an art form. Essentially, you can layer any fragrance just so long as the notes in one compliments the notes in the other. Most fragrances tend to be very complex in their makeup however, therefore it is best to experiment with those that have more singular notes.

Fortunately, there are fragrances that are actually designed for layering and take the guesswork out of an otherwise daunting endeavour. Following in the path of brands such as TokyoMilk, The Blend, and Jo Malone, Philosophy has just launched their own line of layering fragrances, aptly named My Philosophy.

The new collection consists of six different scents to layer or wear alone, and they have just launched exclusively at Philosophy and Sephora. The bottles are very similar to the bottles of their other fragrances, elegant and simplistic. Each bottle is 1 oz. and retails for $40. There is also a fragrance coffret that contains all six that is $85. These are Eau de Parfums, so you are actually getting a better quality fragrance.

My Philosophy, Expressive
My Philosophy, Expressive 

This is a sweet citrus, with notes of Moroccan Orange Flower, Sparkling Pink Grapfruit, and Golden Amber. This would make for a perfect top layer.

My Philosophy, Compassionate
My Philosophy, Compassionate 

This creamy gourmand blend of White Orris, Coconut Milk and Whipped Vanilla Bean, makes this scent ideal for a base layer.

My Philosophy, Empowered
My Philosophy, Empowered 

For those of you who like a more woody base, this one will do nicely with notes of Cashmere Woods, Cedarwood, and Amber Wood.

My Philosophy, Giving
My Philosophy, Giving 

Powdery Heliotrope Petals, Anjou Pear, and Cashmere Accord are the notes in this one. This would be a great first or second layer, and I wager that it would go nicely with the more woody base of the Empowered scent.

My Philosophy, Grateful
My Philosophy, Grateful 

This is a watery floral with a splash of subtle fruit, with notes of Pink Water Lily, Honeydew Melon, and Turkish Rose. It will certainly give your combination that lush aquatic nuance.

My Philosophy, Truthful
My Philosophy, Truthful 

For those of you who like that fresh appeal to your fragrance, this one is probably going to be the freshest scent in the collection with notes of White Magnolia Petals, Green Apple, and Spring Grass.

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My Philosophy, Layering Collection Coffret 

With this set you will get a 0.33 oz. of each fragrance. This is honestly the best way to go, if you want to try them all. You can pair them, layer them, or just wear them alone. So many options! I do not think I have ever been this excited about the prospect of layering my fragrances. I have to say that I rather appreciate the fact that there are only six scents to choose from, it makes it less overwhelming in a world of seemingly endless options!

REVIEW: GIORGIO ARMANI EYES TO KILL EXCESS MASCARA

After going through about 4 different mascaras in the last year, I am happy to say that my interminable quest for the “perfect mascara” has come to a standstill for the time being!

After my initial review of the Guerlain Cils d’Enfer mascara, I continued to use it for a while. I had noticed however, that my eyes were starting to get irritated. This I determined, was due to the heavily fragranced formula. It smells undeniably like roses, extremely potent ones. While this may not cause an issue for some, my eyes tend to be a little sensitive; especially in the Summer months. Moving on to something else…….

Enter my new favourite mascara, Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Excess!

Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Excess Mascara $32
Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Excess Mascara $32 

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Pros:

• The formula is very, very black! If you have pale lashes, this will do a great job at making them dark. My lashes are black, but they could always of course be blacker. I have no complaints whatsoever about the pigmentation of this formula.

• It is not a water-proof formula, which might be a con for some, but I never use water-proof mascara. It does rinse of easily with cleanser and water and even better with a cleansing oil.

• No irritating fragrance!

• It does not flake severely. I have come to the conclusion that there will never be a mascara in existence that will not flake just a tiny bit.

• It is great for subdued or dramatic lashes. The formula is buildable. It takes me 2 to 3 coats. The formula is such that you can build the volume nicely without worrying about getting “tarantula eyes”. It provides great length and volume.This mascara actually reminds me a great deal of Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara, but this one is even better in my opinion. The brush is very similar, so if you like the mascara from Too Faced, you will love this one as well.

• Of all the mascaras I have tried, this one hardly clumps at all. All I get is nicely separated lashes.

Cons:

• This mascara is certainly more on the pricey side at $32.

• Sometimes I get a little color transfer on my lid when applying, but since I line the top of my eyes it usually is a non issue.

• The product tends to collect at the top of the tube, which is something they all do, but I hate wasting product.

Bottom line:

I love this mascara! It is officially my new go to! The cons are not nearly enough to deter me from continuing to use it or repurchase. I noticed it has been getting some great reviews, and for good reason. I will not say that this is my “holy grail” mascara, but for now it is the closest thing to it that I can find.

Do you want excessive eyes to kill?

MY BIRTHDAY JUBILATION

Yesterday was my birthday, and a wonderful one it was at that! I started the day off doing absolutely nothing. It was my birthday after all, and I should be allowed a day of complete R&R right?

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My husband got me my favourite gourmet cupcakes. There were actually more of them, but I started eating them before I took the photo.

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I got to go on a bit of a shopping spree! When in doubt my husband just gets me gift cards. My mom even got me a Sephora gift card this year!

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First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream 

I love this for my body on those dry Winter days, but you can actually use this on your face as well. I have started using it as a “sealer” after all of my other skincare treatments in the evening. It is just the best all-purpose cream to have around.

Make Up Forever Mist and Fix
Make Up Forever Mist and Fix 

This is my favourite makeup setting spray. It is alcohol free and really works to make your makeup last on a hot day, which we have been getting plenty of those lately.

L'Occitane Imortelle Divine Youth Oil
L’Occitane Imortelle Divine Youth Oil 

I can’t say that I have tried every facial oil out there, but I have tried a few and this one is hands down my favourite. It soaks into my skin better than any other one I have tried,  and it makes my skin just glow. It does not leave a terribly greasy after feel like most facial oils tend to do. It smells great and has yet to clog my pores. I really cannot say enough about this oil.

NUFace Collagen Booster B1
NUFace Collagen Booster B1 

My new favourite serums are officially the ones from NUFace. They soak in quickly and I am seeing some great results so far. They are not pore clogging and are fragrance, alcohol, and paraben free. You do not get a great deal of product, but they are thin in consistency so it does not take much to spread a good amount onto your face.

Make Up Forever Artist Shadow in D124 Crystalline White
Make Up Forever Artist Shadow in D124 Crystalline White 

This is the perfect shimmery white shadow. I use this for an array of highlighting purposes.

Diorskin Forever Compact in 010 Ivory
Diorskin Forever Compact in 010 Ivory 

This is fast becoming my new favourite powder. The texture is amazing with buildable light to medium coverage. The ivory shade matches my skin perfectly. It seriously does not feel heavy or look cakey at all.

Living Proof Restore Instant Protection Spray
Living Proof Restore Instant Protection Spray 

Living Proof recently reformulated their revitalizing spray with a heat protectant, so naturally I had to try it. I love it. It dries instantly and my air does not feel fried after using it.

Algenist Hydrating Essence Toner
Algenist Hydrating Essence Toner 

After years and years of using my trusted Clinique toner, I have decided to switch to this one. It is alcohol free like the Clinique one, which was really the deciding factor, but there are so many other benefits to this one. Namely there is no silicones! I will elaborate on that in a later post. If you are looking for a pretty perfect toner, give this one a try.

Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien
Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien 

I got a sample size of this pencil in my Sephora birthday gift, and I love it! It stays on for quite awhile, and I love the colour. It is the perfect nude rosy pink.

Chanel Rouge Coco Ultra Hydrating Lip Colour in Cecile
Chanel Rouge Coco Ultra Hydrating Lip Colour in Cecile 

This is my favourite YLBB lipstick. I do not like ultra glossy finishes, they just do not last long and I loathe when my hair sticks to my lips. This gives just enough sheer pigment for me when applied lightly.

Fresh Sugar Lip Polish
Fresh Sugar Lip Polish 

This lip polish is currently my favourite after the Mac lip scrub was discontinued. It smells like brown sugar, vanilla, and lemon. I find myself wanting to eat it sometimes.

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So, remember that post I did about the runway Rebecca Minkoff Rylan tote? I did say that I wanted it for my birthday and I believe I mentioned somewhere that I was willing to shamelessly grovel to my husband about it. Well………he surprised me! He did get the black one, and I am so glad he did. It will go with so much more than the lavender shade would have. The leather is so soft and so on par with Rebecca Minkoff quality. It is an eye-catcher for sure. The details are amazing. The fringe is well done and not messy looking.

We went to dinner at one of my favourite sushi restaurants, and they took forever serving us this time. I ate it so fast I didn’t even think about taking photos. I had so many dear friends and family members there, it was wonderful. Those amazing people are truly what made it so special. Best birthday yet!

SEPHORA HAUL

June is here. I can hardly believe the year is halfway over. I was so excited because not only is it officially the start of my birthday month, but according to my weather app it was supposed to be pretty mild temps this week. Not so. High 80’s. That is a bit out of my comfort zone. Thankfully I have Sephora to perk me up!

 Some of these are new products for me so we will see if they make it to permanence in my product closet.

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Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF2 25 $7.50
Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF2 25 $7.50 

This is one of the best lip balms I have ever tried. It makes my lips so soft and smooth and is the best winter lip saver hands down. I always use a little bit under any lip product I am wearing. It is a thicker balm but not too sticky. This is very long-lasting. I put it on before bed and it is still there in the morning. There are several flavours to choose from, but this mint one is my favourite. I love that it includes SPF.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed $38
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed $38 

I have been wanting to get a new highlighting powder. I usually use the Kevin Aucoin Candlelight, but that one gets really flaky if you swipe the brush too hard. That really vexes me since I feel like I am wasting a lot of product. I had my reservations about this one because of the shimmer, but one of my Ulta gals put it on and stepped outside and it looked amazing on her, so I decided to give it a try.

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I got the Moonstone shade, which is a very light champagne color. The texture of this one is creamier than the Kevin Aucoin and not as golden. I think this would be a universally flattering shade. The shimmer is very subtle, not chunky glitter at all.

Urban Decay Afterglow Blush $26
Urban Decay Afterglow Blush $26 

This is another product that I have seen on someone else and thought it looked great. These blushes are supposed to last quite awhile. So far they have gotten great reviews.

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I got the shade Obsessed, which is a vivid light pink. I like that it has that blue undertone. I dislike anything with an orange undertone on myself.

Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Excess Mascara $32
Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Excess Mascara $32 

I have been waiting for this mascara to come back in stock for a while. It got some good reviews so far so we’ll see how I like it compared to the Guerlain Cils d’Enfer.

Urban Decay Ultimate Ozone The Multi-Purpose   Primer Pencil $16
Urban Decay Ultimate Ozone The Multi-Purpose Primer Pencil $16 

This is getting such rave reviews so I had to see what all of the fuss is about. You can apparently use this as a lip primer, a correcter stick, and an eye primer. I want to see if it will make my eyeliner even more smudge-proof.

Lancome Cils Booster XL Super Enhancing Mascara Base $25
Lancome Cils Booster XL Super Enhancing Mascara Base $25

I read that this will help keep mascara from flaking. Even the best mascaras tend to flake a little, so I am hoping that this will prevent that for the most part.

Peter Thomas Roth Irish Moor Mud Purifying Black Mask $58
Peter Thomas Roth Irish Moor Mud Purifying Black Mask $58 

I am finally getting around to trying this and I am so excited to! Peter Thomas Roth products are some of my favourites. I hope I will have a better experience with this than I did with the Bliss Multifaceted mask.

Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector$29
Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector$29 

When I first saw this I was a little confused at how it was supposed to work, since the texture is very sticky. You actually use it as a primer of sorts for your under eye concealer. It is supposed to keep your concealer from creasing and brighten up the under eye area. My friend really likes this stuff so I thought I would try it too.

L'Occitane Shea Clensing Oil $22
L’Occitane Shea Clensing Oil $22 

This is my absolute favourite cleansing oil right now! It gets all of my makeup off, including eye makeup. This leaves NO greasy residue after using it. It smells great and you get so much product for the price. If you love L’Occitane as much as I do, you will probably love this.

Have you tried any of these products? What is on your current Sephora wish list?