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: 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: Pixi Overnight Glow Serum (Concentrated Exfoliating Gel)

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This is the third skin product that I’ve tested by Pixi and I’m truly loving it! (You can check out one of my Pixi reviews here). I know that you may think that I’ve been reviewing a ton of skin serums lately, but alas skincare means more to me than cosmetics. If you have an amazing skin you won’t need that much makeup, so that’s why I’m so obsessed with keeping my skin looking top notch (which I know is usually easier said than done!). But that’s why I wish to share with you any skincare product that can help you achieve that amazing skin that we all crave!

Packaging: Like most serums, this comes with a drop dispenser, and in keeping with the Pixi brand it’s a light shade of mint.

What It Does: Gently exfoliates to reveal a healthier and more even skintone. Helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and fade superficial sun damage over time.

Active Ingredients: Glycolic acid, aloe vera, and cucumber

Verdict: What I love about this serum is that it’s thick and feels extra emollient. The glycolic acid stimulates cell turnover, while the aloe vera helps to heal and soothe skin, and cucumber calms and relieves puffy skin. After using this serum for two weeks my skin became instantly smoother and softer. I initially purchased this serum because of the glycolic acid and the promise of it helping fade sun damage (especially since I’m so deathly pale and I live in So-Cal). In two weeks I can’t really tell whether it has helped with any possible sun damage, but it has helped in fading any past acne scars. The serum feels ultra luxurious, as though you were applying an insanely expensive serum, but in reality you’re just splurging the same amount that you would for a MAC lipstick. I recommend this serum, and if you’re acne-prone and oily, this serum keeps the zits away and doesn’t cause one to breakout or increase the oiliness either.

Price: $24

Where To Buy It: Target or https://www.pixibeauty.com/

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Review: Medusa’s Makeup Afterglow Facial Serum

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I’ve been a fan of Medusa’s Makeup for awhile, because not only are their products edgy looking and all around awesome, but they’re vegan which is always a plus in my book. They recently debuted a Facial Serum, and being heavily into skincare I was happy to find it in my September Beauty Box.

Packaging: A cute glass bottle with a dropper dispenser.

What It Does: Keeps skin hydrated, use morning or night.

Active Ingredients: Grapeseed Oil and Grapefruit Oil

Benefits: Grape seed oil is non-comedogenic, treats acne, tightens skin, helps diminish dark circles around the eyes, moisturizers, and reduces scars. Grapefruit oil can help curb hangovers, headaches, mental fatigue, and depression. It is also known to treat acne, prevent oily skin, and help reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Verdict: This serum is amazing! Especially if you have oily or acne prone skin as myself. It is lightweight enough that if can be worn under makeup in the mornings, although I prefer to use it at night before going to bed. It’s never sticky and smells fresh, so if used in the mornings, it feels very refreshing. I find that this serum helps curb my oily skin, leaving glowing but NOT oily skin, looking youthful and fresh-faced. I absolutely recommend this especially if you have problem skin and wish to keep your skin hydrated without clogging up your pores even more so.

Price: $16

Where To Buy It: Medusa’s Makeup Site

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6 Skincare Secrets to Beautiful Skin!

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Photo courtesy of advanceantiagingskincare.wordpress.com

Exfoliate lips using a toothbrush.

One sure-fire way to keep chapped lips at bay is to exfoliate lips using a toothbrush. I usually do it in the morning, you can use either a lip scrub with it or a pinch of Vaseline and gently scrub your lips. You can either scrub in circular motions or horizontal.

Use a Peel to brighten your skin tone.

Peels are extremely easy to use and can remove dull skin cells from the surface, which in turn helps brighten up your skin tone. Since most peels have acid, I’d suggest once a week usage. I suggest my fave here.

Invest in a good eye cream.

Most people will say that you can use regular moisturizer around your eye area, but they are wrong. The skin around your eyes is thinner and absorbs product much faster, so I recommend using a cream specifically made for the eye area, as it’s easier to cause irritation if you use ingredients that are too harsh for the delicate skin. Need ideas? Here’s a list of some of my favourite eye creams.

Use ice to reduce a pimple.

If you have to go out and have a huge raging red pimple, here’s a quick-trick. Hold an ice cube wrapped in a washcloth against your pimple for fifteen minutes. The ice will help reduce the inflammation and redness, allowing you to apply concealer much more easily. For added benefits, make ice cubes out of rose water for an extra skin-soothing treatment!

Don’t remove eye makeup with a makeup wipe.

Makeup wipes are too harsh when trying to get rid of mascara (especially if you’re scrubbing your eyes, a major no-no since it promotes premature wrinkles and wreaks havoc at the delicate skin). What I do is break up the makeup using Johnson’s Baby Lotion by placing it on a cotton ball and gently applying it to my closed eyes. I let the lotion soak in for a few seconds and then wash it off with lukewarm water. Not only will your eyelashes be moisturized, but it’ll also cause less breakage. Added bonus: this method removes all of your eye makeup in less than ten seconds!

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Review: Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil

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If you’ve been following my blog, then you know that I have a soft spot for skin oils. I know that it may seem counterproductive to use oils if you have oily skin (like I do), but in reality, in some weird way, drying out oily skin actually creates more oil than applying oils. So when I received this product in my latest Allure Beauty Box, I was thrilled to try it out.

Packaging: A gorgeous glass bottle with a dropper dispenser.

What It Does: Moisturizes, eliminates redness, fights wrinkles, makes pores smaller, and improves damaged skin.

Active Ingredients: Retinol and chamomile.

Verdict: Now, I know that some people may not be into this oil because it does have some fragrance to it (and maybe it can be irritating to sensitive skin). But the fragrance that it does have is due to natural essential oils from neroli, blood orange, ylang ylang, and vetiver. But if you don’t have sensitive skin, then this oil may be perfect for you. I really loved how it made my skin feel so velvety soft in the mornings (after applying it at night) and also making it plumper. It truly gave me the dewy skin that is oh so coveted by the beauty world. What I love is that the oil is very lightweight, and it’s perfect even for acne-prone skin as myself. I highly suggest to check it out if you need an oil, but if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to skin oils, then check out my favourite Vitamin C oils here.

Price: $105

Where To Buy It: Sephora.com

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Review: 3M Nexcare Acne Covers

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June is Acne Awareness Month, and in lieu of that, I’ve decided to dedicate this week to acne prevention. I’ll admit right away, I’m a picker. Whenever there’s a pimple, I can’t help but pick or squeeze it, which of course worsens the situation (usually infecting the nearby areas) and causes redness, bruising, and scarring.

But ever since I’ve found these miracle workers, I haven’t been tempted to pick at my pimples anymore!

What It Is: Absorbing acne covers

What It Does: When placed on a pimple, the covers work like a sponge to absorb pus and oil.

Verdict: I don’t know what sorcery this is, but it WORKS. I’ve tried various others acne covers from other brands, and they rarely worked as well as these. These covers actually absorb the pus from the acne overnight, even cystic acne! I can’t begin to tell you how miraculous these are! They’re a true godsend in zapping zits overnight. All you have to do is wash your face, then apply the cover directly on the pimple, and in then in the morning you remove the cover and you’ll see all the pus has been absorbed on the cover while the pimple is gone! If you haven’t tried these, do yourself a favour, and GET THESE NOW!

Price: $5.98 (if you subscribe to 5 products) or $6.29 for one time purchase

Where To Buy It: www.amazon.com

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Review: Too Cool For School All-In-One Egg Mellow Cream

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If you follow my blog, then you’ll know that I swear by Vitamin A for having good skin. Having said that, one of the key ingredients in this moisturizer is egg yolk (which is rich in Vitamin A and proteins that nourish the skin). The nutrients found in eggs not only help nourish dull skin but it also brightens it. It also gets rid of acne (again, because of the Vitamin A) and because it also contains a natural antibacterial that fights acne. Since egg yolk is mostly made up of water and fats, it actually helps lock moisture into your skin cells, leaving skin feeling incredibly soft and supple. What more could you ask from a single ingredient?

What It Is: Firming Moisturizer

What It Does: This moisturizer is supposed to work as a serum, priming moisturizer, eye cream, neck cream, and sleep mask. It also targets dryness, dullness and uneven texture, and firmness.

Active Ingredients: Egg yolk, Collagen (great for anti-aging), albumen (egg white), Niacinamide, and omega oil for proper hydration that visibly plumps the skin.

Verdict: As you can tell, I have quite an obsession for overnight masks (you can check out more here), mostly because I suck at waiting out the 15-20 minutes required for face masks and who doesn’t want to wake up to amazing skin? This moisturizer (that also acts as an overnight mask) has fives uses and is packed with multiple benefits in one convenient package. I mostly use this on my face and neck, but it could also be used for the eyes. This cream has a pleasant scent (anyone who has ever used egg on their face knows how sticky and smelly it can be!). What can I say? The moment you apply this cream, your skin will look visibly plumper and will be insanely soft. But don’t worry, the effects last until the following morning. I woke up to softer skin and with no sign of redness or inflammation whatsoever (which can sometimes be the case for us acne-prone skin types). This moisturizer is a godsend to those of you that have dry or flaky skin, but it’s light enough that even those of us with extremely oily skin (as myself) can reap the benefits and won’t clog your pores!

Price: $36

Where To Buy It: Sephora.com

By: Azzurra Nox