Clean + clear: Skincare products you need for back to school

When I was 15 I experienced a bad allergic reaction which made it look like I broke out in acne over night. Since I was a fresh high schooler, I pretty much freaked out, so much so that my mom took me to the local Clinique counter and invested in their Three-Step system for me. I ended up sticking with that skincare routine much into my 20s and until I became beauty blogger, I was religiously using their products day and night.

Since I get to try out so many products, I never have the opportunity to use my beloved Clinique products much anymore, but thankfully I have found some amazing skincare items over the years that also do the trick. Seeing as how we are about to get into a new school year very shortly here, I thought I would share with you some new skincare items I’ve been digging.

Lierac Paris Hydragenist line

Lierac Paris Hydragenist line

This Parisian skincare brand adapts cutting-edge medicine into skincare to offer women efficient dermocosmetics treatments to correct esthetical disorders that appear with time on the face and body. Their skincare lines are divided based on your age, so since I fall within the 25 to 35 year mark, I’ve been using items from their Hydragenist line.

The Hydragenist Morning Moisturizing Mist (C$45) is an oxygenating spray that is supposed to rehydrate and replump the skin after you wake up. It’s inspired by Asian mists and offers immediate hydrating and replumping to your skin. I actually like to use this after my normal moisturizer as by itself I found my skin to be a little tight. It is a spray, however, I find it doesn’t actually mist out, so instead I spray it into my hands before applying it to my face, leaving it feeling nice and fresh.

Before that, I use the Lierac Double Toning Gel Lotion (C$29), which is a double toner to help remove impurities. It cleanses your skin, removing any impurities that accumulate throughout the day, including signs of pollution, and uses an innovative method that acts like a magnet to deeply cleanse the skin. It’s a gel consistency that turns into a purifying water, so I put some on a cotton pad before applying this to my face. It also contains euphrasia flower extract that tightens the pores.

Finally, at the end of the day you know when you cleanse your face but you still have some mascara left on?  I’ve been loving the Lierac Double Cleansing Micellar Milk (C$29), which cleanses the surface of your skin to remove impurities that accumulate throughout the day. It’s a milky texture, so it’s very gentle on the skin. I use this after my cleanser to wipe away anything that was missed. They say you don’t need to rinse this off, so it’s the perfect little finisher for your makeup removal at the end of the day.

Elizabeth Arden Advanced Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Eye Serum

Elizabeth Arden Advanced Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Eye Serum

Okay, so I know what you’re thinking. If you’re young why would you use a “youth-restoring eye serum”? Well, why wouldn’t you?! These anti-aging products actually act as a preventative measure, if you take good care of your skin now, then it will look younger as you age.  I’m 29 and I literally got ID’d everywhere in Vegas at the beginning of the month. I have a young-looking face, probably because I use anti-aging creams.

These little capsules have been around for a while, but these ones in particular have leveraged more than 25 years of research to update the existing formula, adding nine new ingredients that replenish essential, naturally occurring lipids, and support skin’s natural renewal process. It also targets the key signs of aging around the eyes for a younger, brighter look.

Since the skin around our eyes is thinner, it can be susceptible to signs of aging. In fact, they often say that the skin around the eyes is the first part of the face to show signs of aging and can often reveal your age. These capsules (60 capsules for C$77) give you immediate skin barrier protection, moisturization, and anti-aging.  Just grab one, squeeze the serum out and gently pat around the eye area with your ring finger.

Mary Kay TimeWise Vitamin C Activating Squares

Mary Kay TimeWise Vitamin C Activating Squares

Okay, I’m not going to lie, when I first got this product, I had no clue what these are and how to use them. Okay, that’s not entirely true, I knew they provided Vitamin C to your face, but they are these tiny little see-through squares that you apply your face, how does it give you Vitamin C?

Okay so turns out you don’t actually apply these squares to your face, instead they dissolve with the use of water and your favourite serum.  Pure Vitamin C degrades and loses its power over time when exposed to the elements, like air, light or water. The little squares dissolve to create a powerful Vitamin C elixir that supercharges your serum with an age-fighting boost. After two weeks of use, you may start to notice that your face looks more even in tone, more radiant, and fine lines and wrinkles look improved.

So how does it work? Each pack (C$30) contains 12 squares individually packed (the squares literally remind me of the Listerine Pocketpac things that dissolve when you put them in your mouth). Open a package then with the transparent square in the palm of your hand, cover it with three to four drops of water and mix with your finger until it’s dissolved. Add your favourite MK serum of choice (I used the Mary Kay TimeWise Repair serum) to the solution and mix to active the dissolved square, then apply it to your face before continuing your skincare regimen (you want to apply this after your cleanser and toner).

Mary Kay recommends using one Vitamin C square three times per week. They also mention that you must add a serum to the square since the serum will help to transport the squares’ boosting benefits to your skin.

I really like the idea of these and since there’s only 12 in a pack, I’ll be reserving these for special occasions or when my skin is looking drab. I think it’s a super cool idea on Mary Kay’s part (plus the squares are kinda cool!).

The skincare industry has evolved so much over the past few years, just a cleanser, toner and moisturizer isn’t really enough to cut it nowadays. If you’re heading back to school, the look of your skin should be the last of your worries. Keep it fresh and looking young with the help of some of these products.

What are your favourite skincare items?

Please note, products received by PR. All opinions are my own.

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Top picks for back to school from Lyst.ca

I can’t believe that August is almost over. It seriously feels like it was just June, and before you know it, September will be here, and that means back to school season.

Although I will not be heading back to school (I finished those days back in 2010 – crazy that it’s been seven years!), I’m still all about B2S fashion I love fall, it’s my favourite season, so I love taking a look at stores and seeing what they are bringing out for the cooler months.

I like to think of Back to School of being a theory, not just for people heading back to their studies. To me, it’s an excuse to refresh my wardrobe for the fall months (really, any excuse to go shopping is a major plus in my books). Although I love to hit up the mall, I also love to online shop since I often get overwhelmed when I’m in store and see racks and racks of clothing, I just want to see what it looks like on. So hence, the Internet comes into play here.

Although I do have a few favourite online retailers, I’ve been digging lyst.ca, a fashion marketplace that allows you to shop from several sources. Think of it like an online mall. Looking for furry slides? Just search for it and they’ll pull up results from various stores across the ‘net. Best of all, the more you use the platform, the more it learns about you and your shopping habits, so you start to only see the things you love. Love an item but it’s sold out or out of your price range? You can lyst the item (get it?) to plan your wardrobe and wish list and you’ll be alerted when the item goes on sale or back in stock.

I’ve been loving a lot of trends lately, so I came up with six back-to-school must-have items that you can shop online. Check out my “lyst” below.

  1. Gibson Bell Sleve Poplin Top (on sale!)
  2. Miu Miu Appliqued Glittered Leather Sneaker
  3. Ted Baker Eden Backpack
  4. ASOS LULAMOON Unicorn Ballet Flats
  5.  Fendi Butterflyeye Fur Pompom Wool Beanie Hat
  6. adidas Originals Trefoil Crop Hoody

I would love to know what trends and items you’re most excited about picking up for the back to school season. Leave me a comment below with what’s on your lyst!

Please note, this post is inspired by Lyst.ca. All opinions are my own.

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Tantalizing: Cocoa Brown by Marissa Carter One-Hour Tan Mousse + other products

I’m obsessed with self tanner.

Not only does it give you an awesome tan fast, but it makes you look thinner, your muscles more defined, the illusion that you just came back from holidays, and for me, it actually makes me happier (I just feel so good when I have a nice tan #feelingmyself). I’ve talked about my favourite tanning products on here a lot, but I was very excited to try out a new brand here to Canada, Cocoa Brown by Marissa Carter.

Cocoa Brown is actually Ireland’s best-selling tanning product (they say three are sold every minute) and made it’s way to our shore earlier this summer. I’m not sure who Marissa Carter is, but she must be quite successful if she’s adding her name to the product (I did read online that she slammed beauty bloggers earlier this year, so there’s also that…). There are a variety of self-tanning products available, including my favourite formula, the mousse.  The brand promises a cocoa brown colour that develops in as little as one hour, long-wearing up to seven days, a formula that is vegetable-derived DHA, non-sticky mousse that is fast drying, no gross smell, not tested on animals and no parabens. Sounds like a winner to me!

Cocoa Brown by Marissa Carter One-Hour Tan Mousse

I received the one-hour tan mousse, the double-sided tanning mitt, and the Rose Gold Goddess shimmering dry body oil. Since I LOVE trying out new self tanners, I was quick to whip this out and apply it.  The first time I applied the product I just did it on my legs as I was heading to an event and wanted a little colour. I used the glove, which I was very impressed with at first. I often find with tanning mousse mitts that they slip around on my hand, making it kinda difficult to apply the product. This has a texturized inside so it grips your hand nicely, however, I did find that the mitt had a tendency to absorb the product, thus leaving me with patchy legs since it didn’t really spread around. I gave it the benefit of the doubt since that was the first time I ever used it, so the second time around when I pulled the product out, I used the glove again and found it did the same thing. Since I didn’t want to look patchy, I ditched this mitt and grabbed my St. Tropez one, which left me with a nice, even tan.

The mousse is very creamy and nicely scented. They say it’s a Tahitian Gardenia fragrance, and although I can’t quite pinpoint what I think it smells like, it doesn’t smell like self tanner, which is always a plus. The product goes on tinted so you can see where you are applying it. The colour does develop in a hour or so, however, if you want a deeper tan, it’s recommended to wear it for at least four or five hours before washing away that colour guard.

There are six different products to choose from in terms of the tanning items: the original medium, dark, extra dark, night & day tan (instantly leaves a deeply bronzed tan on the skin & when washed off the next morning, your skin will have a gorgeous lighter golden tan), gradual tanning moisturizer, and instant tan bronzing gel matte. I did like the mousse, however, it didn’t really blow me away. It also wasn’t anything more special than other tanning mousses out there.  With that being said, it’s half the price of some of my favourite tanners, St. Tropez and Vita Liberata, and if you love those two like I do, then this is definitely work picking up at C$19.99 (an amazing price for this quality of product).

I also received the Rose Gold Goddess dry body oil, which I brought along with me to Vegas on August long. All I had to read was “rose gold” and I was sold. This dry coconut oil contains finely milled shimmer particles which can be used on the face and body. For the face, you can use it as a primer under foundation or mixed with foundation for a dewy look. For the body, apply it to your shoulders, décolletage, arms and legs for a glossy, shimmery effect.

 

I used this on my legs in Vegas to give them a little shine, I also liked the fact that it provided some moisture as well. They do recommend applying it with the mitt or a brush, however, I just used my hands and it was fine.  Just make sure to shake the product so the shimmer particles are mixed in with the coconut oil.

Overall, I would check out the tanning mousse for sure. Unfortunately you can’t find these products in store here, but they just started shipping to Canada, so visit their site online.

 

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