Review: Akar Skin Balance Toning Mist

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What It Is: Toner

What It Does: Helps tone and balance skin.

Active Ingredients: Rose, Neroli, Saffron, and White Willow Bark

Verdict: If you’re one of those people who has always avoided toners because you’re afraid of alcohol stripping you away of essential skin oils, then throw away all your fears with this toner! This toner isn’t alcohol-based, but rather it uses soothing floral waters to hydrate AND keeps oily skin under control. I’m a bit picky when it comes to toners, they need to feel as though they’re getting rid of any dirt or grime there might be, but at the same time, I don’t wish my skin to feel like it’s dangerous to be near a match cause of the high alcohol content. I recommend this toner if you’ve got normal to combination skin. The only downside to this toner? Its hefty price. If you can splurge, the toner is worth it. If you can’t, then Pixi has more economical options.

Price: $55

Where To Buy It: www.akarskin.com

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Review: Glossier Mega Greens Galaxy Pack

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What It Is: A deeply cleansing and detoxifying mask to help manage excess oil.

What It Does: Detoxifies oily skin.

Why It’s Special:

-Creamy, White Kaolin Clay gently cleanses, while vitamin-rich leafy greens and superfruit antioxidants nourish the skin.

-Minimizes the appearance of pores, so skin looks balanced with a velvety, clean matte finish.

-Draws out excess oil and impurities, particularly good for oily or combination skin types.

Good To Know: Allergy tested, dermatologist tested, appropriate for all skin types, appropriate for sensitive skin, fragrance-free, paraben-free, cruelty-free, and vegan.

Verdict: Glossier are best known for their skincare products, since their company motto is: Skin first, makeup second, and because of that I may have expected much more by their face mask. I don’t think the face mask is bad per se, but since it’s supposed to be clarifying, I was hoping that the clay at some point would’ve hardened more than it did and extracted some gunk as past clarifying masks have done (notably the Tony Moly one). I suppose since I have highly oily skin, I wanted a face mask that could temporarily dry out the oil. However, this face mask seems to be designed to clarify and moisturize. What that means is that when the clay dries down, it never makes your skin feel tight and when you wash it off, your skin feels silky smooth. So for that respect, the face mask works well, especially if you have sensitive skin. However, since my skin is very oily I was hoping for something that would leave my skin feeling a little dried out and clean. I recommend this if you have sensitive skin but need a clarifying mask. If like me, you’re on the oilier side, I’d recommend you invest in a charcoal face mask instead, as that will do the trick.

Price: $22

Where To Buy It: www.glossier.com

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Review: Dr. Botanicals Lemon Superfood All-In-One Rescue Butter

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What It Is: Balm cream

What It Does: Hydrates

Active Ingredients: Vitamin A, Coconut Oil, Lemongrass Oil, and antioxidants

Verdict: Since we’re living during a pandemic, I’ve had to up the number of times I wash my hands (let’s just say that I now understand why OCD people feel so anxious). But all this handwashing has caused me to get hand eczema (a very unsightly and painful issue). This butter is meant to be used all over the body, and under normal conditions, I probably would’ve considered using it as a face moisturizer. But these are unprecedented times, so I decided to use this all-in-one rescue butter for my hands (because of its Vitamin A qualities). Let’s just say that this butter has been a lifesaver. In a matter of TWO DAYS, my hand eczema disappeared and I was left with beautiful pre-pandemic hands. This butter is so rich that a dime-size is all you really need for hours of hydration (or up until you have to wash your hands, yet again). Apart from this butter being a miracle-worker, it also serves as a mini-aromatherapy session as it has a light lemon scent that helps ease any feelings of anxiety you might be feeling (and honestly who isn’t anxious right about now?). I love this product SO MUCH that I’m willing to purchase it when I run out (I received this in an Allure Beauty Box). I completely recommend this butter for all of your skincare needs, you won’t be disappointed.

Price: $14.90

Where To Buy It: https://us.drbotanicals.com/

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Review: BareMinerals SkinLongevity Vital Power Infusion Serum

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What It Is: Serum

What It Does: Hydrates

Active Ingredients: California Poppy and Lempuyang Ginger Extracts

Verdict: I’ll preface by stating that I’ve always loved BareMinerals skincare items, and this is no exception. If you’re need of absolute hydration but still want it to be lightweight, then this serum is for you. Since I have oily skin I’m not a fan of hydrating creams that are too thick or greasy. This one is very lightweight but at the same time provides the kind of hydration that will keep your skin flawless and bouncy. It will give you the so-called summery glow that we’re all aiming for and it also has a light citrus floral scent that makes you feel perked up if used first thing in the morning. I recommend this if you need a serum that doesn’t feel heavy but that packs in a ton of hydration.

Price: $58

Where To Buy It: www.bareminerals.com

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Review: Kate Somerville Goat Milk Facial Moisturizer

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What It Is: Moisturizing Cream

What It Does: Hydrates and soothes dry skin

Active Ingredients: Jojoba and Avocado hydrate and condition, naturally soothing Aloe helps calm kin, and Grape Seed Oil and Vitamin E, natural Antioxidants, help neutralize free radicals

Verdict: I’ve used Kate Somerville’s skincare products before since Allure has sent me a few samples my way through the Beauty Box. The products I had been sent were indeed good, but nothing too life-changing for me to praise to the heavens for. Now, I recently subscribed to the Fab Fit Fun and I decided to select the Goat Milk Hydrating Cream as one of my selections for the Winter Box. I’ll admit it: I’ll automatically try anything that has Goat Milk. I just love the benefits that Goat Milk provides that I’m willing to give it a go with any product that contains this ingredient. Confession time: When I first got this product I wasn’t quite certain WHERE on the body I was supposed to use it since it simply said hydrating cream. So I’ve been using it on my hands and face, although a quick trip to Kate’s official site claims that it is a face cream. I guess you can use this cream anywhere you have dry skin. I love that it’s purely scentless because while I do like a good scent, some creams have odd scents that can be off-putting or ones that are incredibly overpowering. This cream seriously delivers. It doesn’t matter where on your body you are using it (my mum went so far to put this on her feet since she’s always had cracked heels) you’ll wake up the following morning with rejuvenated incredibly soft skin! The only downside of this cream? For me personally, it’s the hefty price tag. $65 for 1.7 oz. is a bit pricey if you’re going to use this beyond your face. But if you’re just using this as a hydrating cream for your face then it should last longer than if (like me or my mum) you’re using this on your hands or feet. It’s an excellent product and I totally recommend you check it out whatever skin concern you have because a good hydrating cream is hard to come by.

Price: $65

Where to Buy It: https://www.katesomerville.com/

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Review: Curology The Cleanser

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What It Is: A lightweight cleanser

What It Does: Cleanses skin without stripping it of its essential oils

Verdict: I’ve seen this brand being advertised both on Facebook and Instagram. They promise to take your skin concerns and tailor them into a skin routine that is made to target and solve your problems. I received this in a current Allure Beauty Box, and since they know what skin type I have (combination, oily) I figure that they probably sent me a cleanser that would target my skin issues.

As far as cleanser goes, I love that it doesn’t have any strange scents. It’s actually scentless, which I prefer. It also is a lightweight gel consistency, which is also one of my favourite textures for cleansers. I’m not a huge fan of the foam ones or ones that are too thick or runny.

I love that it gets rid of oiliness or residual makeup without drying out your skin. In fact, it leaves your skin feeling hydrated and soft. As a cleanser, I am happy with the way this one made my skin feel and may look into purchasing their custom skincare in the future.

Price: $19.95 and up for a set that includes the cleanser, a custom treatment cream, and moisturizer

Where To Buy It: curology.com/allure

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5 Tips On How To Keep Your Skin Beautiful During Winter

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Depending on where you live, a drop in the temperature can seriously wreak havoc on your skin, especially if your skin is on the dry side (but even oily and combination skin suffers during harsh winters). Below are some quick tips on how to survive the lower temperatures with amazing skin.

ONE. Invest in a humidifier.

It will help maximize moisture in the room. This will help keep your skin from drying out and keep it hydrated.

TWO. Eat healthy and stay hydrated.

I know a lot of people assume summer is the time to drink lots of fluids but when your skin is in need of hydration, drinking lots of water during the winter months will be a great help! Also, eating foods with Omega-3 or Omega-6 fatty acids (think salmon or avocados) can seriously help in keeping the skin healthy from the inside.

THREE. Moisturize frequently.

Invest in a good moisturizer for your face and apply it twice a day. Hands are more likely to get dry during the winter months, so use a very emollient cream. Apply the cream after washing hands and try to cut down the use of water on hands by using water-proof gloves to wash dishes or for housework.

FOUR. Switch to a gentle face cleanser.

Soap is infamous for causing dry skin. So invest in a fragrance-free cleansing cream. Cleansing creams tend to wash dirt or oil off of your face without stripping it completely of your natural oils and hydration. Some of my personal faves are Lancome’s Creme Radiance ($27) and Lancome’s Creme Mousse Confort ($27).

FIVE. Use sunscreen.

Many people assume that they can bid adieu to their sunscreen once the winter months roll around. WRONG! Even on grey days, you’re at risk of getting sunburned or causing damage to your skin. Your best bet is to invest in a moisturizer that has sunscreen built-in with at least SPF 15 (I personally prefer 30 or higher but I’m also Lydia Deetz pale).

I hope these tips can help you brace the winter months and keep your skin from suffering! Stay glowing!

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Review: Sweet Chef – Beet + Vitamin A Serum Shot

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About The Brand: Sweet Chef mixes the perfect daily shot of vegetables and vitamins to freshly boost your skin’s vitality and deliver a healthy radiance. Quenching your skin has never been so sweet.

What It Does: Refines Pores & Smooths Rough Skin

Active Ingredients:

BEET

Beet harnesses a variety of vitamins that leave skin feeling softer and visibly smoother.

VITAMIN A

Vitamin A is rich in antioxidants that help to minimize signs of aging for a youthful glow.

How To Use: After cleansing and toning, apply serum shot on face with a gentle tapping motion until absorbed. Follow with a moisturizer, if desired.

Verdict: If you’ve been following the blog for a while, then you’ll know of my obsession for Vitamin A and how it helps keep your skin looking radiant. So it’s no surprise that I’d jump at the chance to try out this new Vitamin A serum from Sweet Chef and see how it compares to my favourite Vitamin A serum (that sadly Amazon no longer stocks). The beauty of Vitamin A is that it doesn’t take long to see the benefits. In just of days you’ll notice a much brighter and smoother complexion. The packaging for this completely cute yet very efficient.

I love how this serum feels on my skin, and even after only one night, when I woke up my skin looked considerably better than how it did the night before. This company has various vitamins as serums (also B & C), and I’m sure they’re just as good although they target different skin concerns. You can also make up your own cocktail of sorts, mixing and matching various serums and creams.

Overall, this is an excellent product and I’m looking forward to trying out other skincare products that they have.

Price: $19.99

Where To Buy It: Target

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Review: Erno Laszlo New York – Multi Task Eye Serum Mask

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Eye-catching instant results!

A silky, all-in-one hydrogel eye patch formulated with a powerhouse of ingredients to tackle major signs of under eye dark circles, fine lines, and wrinkles.

This multi-tasking eye patch is a high-powered serum infused with algae extract, vitamin B3, and allantoin to deliver immediate results under the eye area.

What It Is: A hydrating eye serum gel mask

What It Does: Hydrates and nourishes the eye area, diminishing dark circles and fine lines

Verdict: It’s not always easy to find an eye mask the truly delivers. Most feel like a waste of time. Others tend to slip off, but this gel mask stays put meaning that you don’t necessarily have to lie down in order to keep it on you. I decided to pop this eye mask in the freezer for a few minutes prior to using it. I think that that truly added an element of extra relaxation. I really loved how the mask felt on my eye area. I left it on for about 30 minutes so all the serum had time to soak into my skin. I really loved how the serum felt on my skin while I had it on. It just felt very soothing and relaxing. When I removed the mask, my under eye area felt incredibly smooth and hydrated. I have hereditary dark under eyes, and this mask truly helped reduce the appearance of it. I used this mask before going to sleep, but I can see how it could also be used to prep the eye for makeup in the morning. This serum would truly make the perfect eye primer for concealer. I suggest you try out this eye mask if you want to pamper under your eyes and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and stress.

Price: $35 (pack of 6)

Where To Buy It: www.ernolaszlo.com

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Review: Glow Recipe – Watermelon Glow Jelly Sheet Mask

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I’m currently vacationing in Italy and decided to spend a week at my home in Catania. I took that week to completely relax and unplug (no internet, no cell phone, in other words, complete bliss!). I decided to use that week as way to recharge and dedicate myself to all things self-care (which meant lots of face masks, manicure, pedicure, and complete relaxation). One of the masks I packed in my suitcase was the Watermelon Glow Jelly Sheet Mask.

The Watermelon Glow Jelly Sheet Mask is a hydrogel sheet drenched in a full bottle of hydrating skin-cooling serum. Formulated with a blend of watermelon extract, hyaluronic acid, and centella asiatica extract that helps quench dehydrated skin leaving it soft, supple, and bouncy.

What It Is: A hydrating mask

Active Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid

Verdict: The first thing I noticed when taking the mask out of the package was the pleasant watermelon scent. I really liked how the gel felt on my skin. It was very refreshing and there was a nice tingling feel. The package said to leave the mask on for ten minutes, but I left it for about twenty instead. Once I removed the mask, it left my skin feeling very hydrated and plump. I really loved how soft it was. The mask wasn’t sticky like some serum soaked masks tend to me, but rather when I removed the mask, most of the serum had been absorbed by my skin. I used this mask at night, but on the package, it stated that it can also be used as a prep mask to smooth the look of skin and depuff before morning makeup. Another way to best gain the cooling effect would be to pop this mask in the fridge for about ten minutes prior to using it and it will help with the depuffing even more. All in all, I was happy with this face mask and would definitely purchase it. This one I think was sent to me in an Allure Beauty Box several months ago and just hadn’t had the time to test it out. So, if you’re looking for instant hydration, this is the quick remedy to quench dry skin.

Price: $16.97

Where To Buy It: Amazon

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