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

Review: Medusa’s Makeup Black Hawaiian Sea Salt Facial Scrub

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Facial scrubs are perfect for getting rid of dead skin and promote cell turnover. Exfoliation is key for healthy skin. I was recently sent this sea salt facial scrub from Medusa’s Makeup from one of their monthly beauty boxes that I’m subscribed to. I’m usually kinda lazy when it comes to using facial scrubs, but I know how important it is to do them cause it rids your skin of dead skin cells, and this helps with keeping acne away.

I’m particularly keen on Medusa’s Makeup products because being vegan, usually means that the products are made using natural ingredients and are free of harmful chemicals. An absolute win/win for your skin!

What It Is: Sea salt facial scrub

What It Does: Rids of dead skin cells and promotes cell turnover, leaving skin feeling soft.

Active Ingredients: Black Hawaiian sea salt and almond oil

Bonus: Vegan, cruelty-free, and paraben-free

Verdict: I usually only do facial scrubs about once a week because more than that and my skin feels raw. This scrub smells heavenly and leaves your skin feels so clean and soft! The only downside is that it can be somewhat messy, as is the case with any scrubs (more so I suppose when the salt is black) so I suggest making sure that you’ve rinsed off all of the scrub before patting your skin dry with a towel. The almond oil found in this scrub also doubles as a moisturizer as your skin won’t be left feeling stripped of its essential oils. Follow up this treatment using your favourite moisturizer and you’re set to go!

Price: $10

Where To Buy It: https://medusasmakeup.com/collections/new-and-limited-edition/products/black-hawaiian-sea-salt-facial-scrub

By: Azzurra Nox

For more skincare tips check out My Skincare Routine & Five Fruits for Amazing Skin!

Review: Korres Wild Rose Sleeping Facial

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Born of a Greek homeopathic pharmacy more than 20 years ago, the brand’s philosophy is rooted in the use of natural ingredients of the highest quality, skin and environmentally friendly products with clinically tested efficacy, and the products that can inspire and make us and our customers happy.”*

I’m hugely obsessed with face masks, but I’m even a bigger fan of sleep masks. Why? Because there’s no wait time with sleep masks. You can simply slather on the sleep mask and hit the sack and wake up to gorgeous skin (who wouldn’t want that?). This particular mask is guaranteed to make your skin look extra glowy no matter how much of a night owl you are (like me).

What It Is: Sleep Mask

What It Does: Guaranteed to make your skin, softer, smoother, and more radiant.

Active Ingredients: Wild Rose oil, Vitamin C, and Hyaluronic Acid.

Verdict: This mask is amazingly weightless. It’s like having a scrumptious souffle at the tip of your fingers, as the cream instantly dissolves into your skin. This mask has intense hydration and the Vitamin C helps to brighten your skin. This is the best mask for anyone out there who’s on the lazy side (like me) because it does all the work for you while you sleep! Even after the first application, you wake up to visibly brighter, smoother, skin! It’s a true godsend for anyone who has problematic skin or just needs an extra boost. I highly recommend it.

Price: $48

Where To Buy It: https://www.korresusa.com/

*Italicized blurb from website.

By: Azzurra Nox

Skincare: These five fruits will give you radiant skin!

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*Foundation & powder-free skin.

Ever wonder why many vegetarians or vegans have amazing, glowing skin? Apart from the fact that they aren’t consuming meat, the major reason is that they’re eating lots of FRUITS!

But are all fruits created equal, and which ones are you better off eating? Well, different fruits target different skin issues as well as provide different sorts of vitamins, so your best bet is to eat a variety of fruits within a week. But to make things easier for you, here are the top five best fruits for healthy skin and what benefits you may reap from consuming them!

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Apple:

The malic acid found in apples promotes firm, youthful skin. There’s a reason why the famous saying states, “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away!” In this case, eating apples will surely keep you away from having to visit a dermatologist. Not to mention that the fibers found in apples, helps promote bowel movements, which leads to clearer skin because you’re getting rid of toxins.

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Avocado:

This fruit is rich in biotin, Vitamin E, and promotes cell regeneration and growth. Biotin helps nails and hair grow faster. You can reap benefits from this fruit either by eating it or used topically (in the form of face masks).

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Banana:

Rich in potassium and helps in keeping skin moisturized and hydrated. Bananas also contain skin-healthy nutrients, such as Vitamin A, B, and E. It also helps with keeping the elasticity of skin, prevents premature aging, and fades dark spots.

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Kiwi:

This fruit is packed with high doses of Vitamin C, and we all know that Vitamin C is a skin-friendly vitamin (in helping to keep skin radiant and acne-free!). Kiwis contain more Vitamin C than oranges, so you’re better off choosing this fruit as your source of Vitamin C than others.

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Strawberries:

Anti-oxidant and prevents wrinkle formation. Like kiwis, this fruit also contains a high dose of Vitamin C, but unlike kiwis, strawberries also contain salicylic acid (you may have heard this acid being used in acne treatments). What this means, is that it helps prevent pores from getting clogged and stops pimples from forming in the first place! Strawberries also contain an anti-oxidant called ellagic acid, which studies have proven that it helps prevent the destruction of collagen (meaning fewer wrinkles!) and it also acts as a shield against UV damage (but that doesn’t mean you should skip out on applying sunscreen, that is always a must!).

Try consuming at least one serving or two of each of these fruits once a week, and you’ll soon notice the difference in your skin! Not to mention that they’re a healthier snack option if like me you love sweets but are trying to avoid processed sugars. So give your skin a break, and eat your way to radiant, beautiful skin!

 

By: Azzurra Nox

Skincare: DIY Cucumber Mask!

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Anyone who knows me knows that I love a good face mask! Not only are they luxurious in feel, but they always make me feel as though they are truly combating my skin concerns (oiliness/acne) whenever I’m using skin masks that target those concerns. But with so many companies coming out with face masks, not all face masks are created equal, and many of them are loaded with chemicals or unnecessary colouring agents and added scents.

So what does one do when you’re aiming for an all-natural face mask? Simple, do it yourself!

This face mask is aimed at soaking up oil and calming inflammation, and better suited for those with oily or combination skin type. Those of you with dry skin might find this mask a bit more drying and thus not as helpful to your skin type.

There’s a load of DIY face masks on the internet, but this one is truly easy peasy! I’m not one to try to get too fancy with crazy ingredients, so this is one you can whip up in less than three minutes tops!

Ingredients:
Half a cucumber (blended to make one tablespoon juice)
One teaspoon lemon juice
One teaspoon turmeric

Directions:
Blend all the ingredients in a blender till they’re all mixed together, or you can place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix the ingredients together manually.
Then once you have the mixture, spread it all over your face (keep away from the eye area and eyebrows and lips) using a cotton ball or foundation brush.

Time: Keep this on for 15-30 mins. Don’t exceed 30-mins. though otherwise the lemon can be too drying to your skin!

Final step: Once the time has elapsed, rinse the mask off using lukewarm water and pat dry with a towel.

Bonus: Use this mask 2-3 times a week (to save time you can apply this before taking a bath! I love being able to multitask since I hate waiting!).

Benefits of the mask: Cucumber promotes healthy skin, while the lemon juice targets the oiliness and acts like a natural astringent, while the turmeric penetrates into the pores and soothes any inflammation there may be (and oily and acne-prone skin is ALWAYS harboring some kind of inflammation).

By: Azzurra Nox

Skincare: How Vitamin A Can Make You Have Gorgeous Skin!

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*Foundation-free skin in the photo.

Vitamin A can easily be described as the holy grail of vitamins for skin. If you’re an acne sufferer, this vitamin is your cure. Many dermatologists prescribe Accutane (which is pretty much a medication that makes you overdose on Vitamin A), and while that could temporarily solve your problem, I don’t think that it’s the best approach. Instead, I recommend finding the perfect supplement dose for you (you can have your doctor decide what amounts if safe for you since everyone is different). Although, typically speaking, 25,000 IU taken about 4 times a week shouldn’t cause any harm AND keep the acne or any other skin ailment at bay.

Why 4 times a week and not every day?

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning that it stays stored in your body for awhile, and unlike water-soluble vitamins, it won’t flush out of your system if you have high amounts. Meaning, that it’s easy (and could be potentially hazardous) to overdose on Vitamin A or any other fat-soluble vitamin.

So why choose Vitamin A?

It encourages healthy skin cell production, and it also stimulates fibroblasts (the cells responsible for developing tissue that keeps skin firm and healthy). What this means is that it can help prevent wrinkles, whilst also getting rid of any acne, or acne scars you may have.

When choosing a Vitamin A supplement, I suggest going for the cod liver oil, as that has the best sort of Vitamin A (meaning the most potent and non-chemical).

If supplements aren’t your thing, then try to include more of these foods in your diet:

Chicken Liver, Beef Liver, Butter, or Eggs. For a less aggressive Vitamin A you can choose to eat foods that have beta-carotene (a Vitamin A precursor) which can be food in colorful vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and spinach.

Most importantly: In order for the skin to benefit from Vitamin A, the body converts it to retinoic acid, which can also be found in topical serums (my favorite is from Isabis Formulae).

How has it changed my skin?

Ever since I’ve been using Vitamin A supplements for the past year, I’ve seen a vast improvement in my skin. Not only do I rarely get blemishes, but when I do, they last for a less amount of time and leave fewer scars behind. Of course, the supplements or topical serums won’t be as effective if not followed by a healthy diet with low doses of sugar (as much as I love it, anything with sugar is basically poison for your skin).

So it’s a no-brainer that if you’re suffering from acne or wish to have a better complexion, then Vitamin A will be your new best friend.

By: Azzurra Nox