Friday, 2 September 2011

Taking Care of Your Skin at Night

My first Night-Time Anti-Aging Cream

When is it time to sleep with an Anti-Aging Cream?
I’ve told women in their twenties that there are magical creams out there which can heal, brighten and hydrate while they are sleeping. They’ve come back and re-purchased  the creams that gave them the results they wanted and often I’d get asked  what I used at night.  Being in my early thirties and quite oily I responded with, “I swipe on toner, eye-cream, pray and then pass out.” Only because I truly believed I didn’t need extra-hydration or anti-aging help. Sure there were wrinkles around my eyes and forehead from years of an extra-curricular night life, but what I mostly was concerned with is the heavy lotion or cream causing my sensitive skin to react and break-out.
One bottle - $100 with tax – One chance to see what the results would be.

Sure I educated myself on the ingredients – I wanted the magic to diminish my ever-burgeoning wrinkles and expression lines (which may be synonymous). I use mineral powder and SPF in the day, but I still wanted skin that was more even-toned (less concealing work for me). What I mostly wanted was to have a real test to examine the efficacy of ingredients (peptides) that I research non-stop.

Jouviance EcoRejuvenation Anti-Aging Cream was my choice. It’s a Canadian company, great ingredients and very ethical.  It came in both jar and a slender white pump for normal to oily skin.  I opted for the pump as I’m oily, and proud to say it.
After only a few nights my skin became smoother and less “sun-damaged and weather-worn.”  There were noticeable differences in only a week of sleeping with the cream, and I found myself creeping into bed earlier at night just as an excuse to slather on a nice dose from the beautifully packaged white pump on my face and neck.
Really good for those who always ask me, “how long before I start to see results?”
I sleep, the cream soaks into my skin and when I wake up my skin doesn’t look tired or feel rough. I still eat the same and get 7 hours of nightmare-free R.E.M,, but there’s no changing how I feel. A woman gets to a point where she requires some really repairing ingredients. 

What it is comprised of:

Omega 3 & 6 – (found in my other frequently recommended cream Biotherm’s Aquasource Biosensitive as it has:  vegetal omegas 3 and 6 extracted from apricot kernels, blackcurrant, rice bran, echium and sesame seeds.)^F1_VIS_MOISTURE^F2_VIS_MOISTURE_Cream&

Capital “P” Peptides!
I can now say that I’m at the right age to begin using a peptide (mid-30’s) and I’m happy that I found a product that is affordable that has one as recognized as Matrixyl (part of the Pentapeptide 3 family)
Matrixyl: This patented penta-peptide was the first of its kind proven through clinical research to significantly reduce the appearance (length, depth and width) of wrinkles by boosting collagen and hyaluronic acid production, thereby increasing firmness and elasticity for younger-looking skin.
and the other sister to the  Oligopeptide family Dermaxyl:
Dermaxyl: Dermaxyl contains a patented anti-wrinkle ingredient called Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, that stimulates communication between cells, in turn helping “repair cells” to more easily focus on specific areas of the skin that are damaged. Research has shown that Palmitoyl Oligopeptide can increase collagen and elastin, thereby stimulating healthier-looking skin through its ability to decrease the depth and volume of wrinkles.

Key transformative (magical) ingredients which make for a fantastic night cream and lotion possibilities:

For Dry Skin:
Shea butter: helps cell regeneration, hydration
Cacao Seed Butter:
skin conditioning, good for dry/flakey & dehydrated skin
(Sweet) Almond Oil
: moisturizing, balancing
Althea Officinalis (Marshmallow Root extract): increases moisture
Oleic Acid:
Softens skin, moisturize
Wheat Germ Glycerides:
Softening, provides skin with linolenic fatty acids
For Age/Sun spots:
Vitamin E : reduces UV damage
Soybean:  reduces UV damage
Grapeseed oil : reduces UV damage
Licorice Root Extract : temporary blocks tyrosinase & enzyme responsible for the skins pigmentation process.
Goji Berry : evens out skin tone
Ellagic Acid/Pomegranate : helps reduce UV damage and hyper-pigmentation
Olive Leaf Extract : repairs skin damage caused by UV radiation
For Red, Rashy, Inflamed and Irritated Skin:

helps damaged skin
soothes damaged skin, regenerates skin cells, anti-inflammatory
Rosehip Seed Oil:
damaged & distressed skin
reduces inflammation
Borage Seed Oil: anti-inflammatory
Moriga Pterygosperma Seed Extract:
anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory
Artemisia Capillaris Flower Extract (Mugwort):
calming, decreases redness, repairing
: anti-irritant, soothing
Yucca Extract:

 For Skin that has seen better days:
Avocado Oil: increases collagen, moisturizes
Peptides: reduces appearance (length, depth & width) of wrinkles by boosting collagen & hyaluronic acid production.
Soybean Oil: stimulates collagen production
Pomegranate: stimulates collagen production
Ginko Biloba: stimulates collagen production
Vitamin A (Retinyl Palmitate): stimulates collagen production, accelerates cell renewal, reduces UV-induced wrinkle formation.
Vitamin C (L-Ascorbic Acid): trigger collagen production, enhances skin repair

Monday, 9 May 2011

Keeping your lips Foxy not Flakey

Exfoliating, Protecting, Moisturizing…all the things a girl can do to kick up her kisser

If you own beautiful creamy satin-finish lipstick and a matching liner that brings your lips to an entirely new level of glamour elevating your mood no matter what your hair thinks it’s going to do to your day – you need to know about lip love.  The love starts with the nightly maintenance in achieving perfectly, soft lips with no flakey dry tight areas. It’s amazing how different our lips feel after some attention and pampering and it only takes a weekly scrub and nightly saturation of natural emollients such as cocoa seed butter, beeswax and castor seed oil (a great humectant!)

Become aware of those tricky lipsticks that somehow don’t feel right on your lips – be sensitive to the ones that make your lips feel dry after using, or tighten and pull your lips. It may be that you are allergic to an ingredient or by getting rid of them make space for one fabulous power color.

Smooth Operator Scrub for you on the cheap!

You will need:

Honey (hydrating, anti-bacterial)
Raw, Brown, or White Sugar (abrasive enough to slough off, sweet enough to keep on)
A Natural Oil from the health food store (around $6) eg: Jojoba oil, Grapeseed oil, Apricot Kernel oil, Sweet Almond oil, …..or if you don’t want to trek to Noah’s use Olive Oil.
Little mixing bowl and spoon
Extra-Soft Baby or Kid’s toothbrush

Mix ingredients in lil’ bowl and place a damp face-cloth on your kisser holding it there for 30-45 sec.
Start with a small amount on the toothbrush and then work in as much as you need on lips using soft, gentle circular motions. After you’ve lovingly scrubbed away take the damp cloth and wipe off. Follow with your favorite lip balm.

Lip balms to Love:

ROC: If I had a loonie for everytime I sold someone one of these I could buy a flatscreen.  You will end up carrying in your  purse, gym bag, backpack, and panic when it’s not around.  Not only is it smooth (must be the jojoba and shea butter) and calming (bisabolol), but you can apply lipstick and lipliner on top without it sliding off. Never feels greasy and if you sleep with it you’ll awaken with angelically soft lips every time


Blistex: Get ready for a thoroughly conditioning product which guarantees repair on every level from our windy cold weather, over-drying lip-stains and  on-the-go lifestyle that somehow has us forgetting to baby our lips proper. Using beeswax and castor seed oil it’s thick yellow consistency needs only to be applied once and you’re good to hit the pillow or highway.

MAC: It doesn’t have to be some fancy-shmancy metallic rainbow eyeshadow for someone to associate with MAC, as they’ve perfected the basics and truly you can’t get anymore basic then lip conditioners. These two work well under-lipliner or lipstick.
I give a nod to their usage of natural emollients s such as shea butter, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, wheat germ oil and vitamin E and C. There’s something wonderful about having an SPF in a tinted-lipbalm, as it saves you time from having to put a lipstick on top.

Lip Conditioner (no color)

Tinted Lip Conditioner  (SPF 15) in “Petting Pink”

     Lip Exfoliating products :

Philosophy: This little pink tube of natural lip goodness will not only relieve your chapped, flakey, dry and “in much need of exfoliation” lips, but will add moisture using natural conditioning emollient oils such as: avocado, sweet almond and sesame seed oil with my two faves shea and mango seed butter. The taste is peppermint, and the product is nicely priced.

Kiss Me Exfoliating Lip Scrub

Smashbox: The black particles are actually poppy seeds as this minty scrub uses the same natural ingredients as Philosophy’s adding Aloe and Beeswax to the mix. Try it in the store to see if you like the texture and smell as it’s becoming one of my standard staples.

Emulsion Lip Exfoliant

Monday, 2 May 2011

Sunburn on face and Body – Products to soothe and help you in after-sun care

You’re Burned – now what?

Picture it: Wasaga Beach. The first hot day of the summer and you’re distracted by bikini maintenance and planning the picnic. Coming home you’re afraid to take off your sunglasses and look at your red-hot skin. You’ve been burned before, promising yourself that never again will you be swindled, surprised and taken from behind by the gruesome ball of fire that finds any means necessary to attack your exposed flesh that somehow missed the half-assed sunscreen slathering or spraying. Something about setting up camp, going swimming, eating, volleyball, doing more splashing around makes a girl forget about re-application.


You didn't put sunscreen on at all because it was a semi-cloudy day…wasn't it? It was a crummy, cloudy day until that surreal, fantastical point when you were ridiculously gleeful at the sight of the sun – as so many say, that wondrous orb of light and energy that never hurts us, no way! for sure after what wintery hell you've endured in Canada…the snow, slush, sleet, making it's salt-stained statement on your boot. The snow is evil, the sun is a saint – you muse. Now girl, here’s the sun's statement via it's little ray henchmen UVA and UVB biting Blondie’s style:  “One way or another, I’m gonna find you I’m gonna getchoo getchoo getchoo!”

Once you get home to search for the ancient bottle of aloe Vera gel (still that classic neon-green color) you find nothing other then a tub of greasy body butter cream. Remember: If you put a dollop of a greasy cream on your freshly burned skin, it’s going to sizzle like butter on a hot skillet. As these generic products can trap the heat and should be avoided.

Sunburn damage control

It’s true that aloe Vera right from the pure source of the plant is a natural way to soothe and heal a nasty sunburn, but it’s also true that you can get access to 98% pure aloe vera gel at the health food store on your way home from the beach and pick up some Asprin too.

 JASON Naturals: Here’s a great line that you can pick up at a health food store like Whole Foods in Yorkville (they stock 2 sizes) and Your Good Health Store (in every major mall).  Most health-food stores will carry a pure aloe Vera gel that doesn’t resemble the color of the nuclear waste from The Simpsons. This is one example of the goods:

Jason Naturals 98% Aloe Vera Moisturizing Gel

For those who feel sun-exposed, but didn’t get lobster-burned:

There’s also products offered in sparkly soft-smelling lotions that are great if you are outdoors on a mildly sunny day (wearing sunscreen top of head to tippy-toes of course as you are brilliantly clever and oh-so-sun-savvy!) and these products are a luxury to have around for trips and occasions where you were sunned without the hot-cross-buns.

Biotherm: Their Oligo-thermal milk and creams are rehydrating and use Shea butter alongside Vitamin E. Awesome texture and performance.

After Sun Body Milk 

Burts Bees: A very popular natural product line that has many hidden gems like this one. This product uses ingredients that help heal hot sun-exposed skin like: aloe barbadensis leaf juice, bisabolol, citrus medica limonum (lemon) peel oil, and Linden extract which soothes skin.
Aloe & Linden Flower After Sun Soother

H20+:  Pull out this fast-absorbing, incredible feeling and smelling cream and you will be in heaven. It’s great for sensitive skin as it’s 98% natural and botanical using Sea Lavender Oil which is amazing for after-sun, Shea Butter that is habitually utilized for moisturizing properties, and jojoba.

Sea Pure Replenishing Body Cream

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Self Tanning - "How To" and Product Recommendations

Sunless Tanning Tips & Product Recommendations

It’s encouraging to know that all the beauty companies are accommodating our need to match the skin tone of a Thanksgiving Turkey, cause that turkey does look sexy-hot on a platter. We hope to garnish ourselves with floral skirts, and citrus lips serving ourselves up on the patio’s of Toronto, only to see that we aren’t the only turkeys on the town. True, that little bit of fake tan does more for a pale girls self-esteem than false eyelashes, extensions and a manicure ever will (drinks on the house not included). Look at me world! you muse to yourself after perfecting the fake-tan, I just got back from St. Barts and perhaps tomorrow I’ll head on over to the French Rivera after scrutinizing over my potential streak areas one more time…

So are you itching to get your fake-tan on?

Itch away my dutiful denizens of the drugstore – I’ll help you out with a quick questionnaire to help determine if you are destined to be a DJ Tanner:

©   Do you up-keep and maintain your mani and pedi?

Do you already maintain your hair-color?

Do you maintain and upkeep a shaving or waxing & plucking routine?

Do you enjoy daily upkeep and maintenance of multiple beauty routines alongside shopping, cooking, cleaning, prepping, sweating, running, driving, texting, working and breathing?

If you answered yes to all or a few – pack your bags (another thing to do…) you’re on your way to Turks & Caicos But first let’s pull up that pant-leg and examine the tone we’re working towards.

Please don’t decide you want to be beach-bunny brown the day of the first summer season outdoor fancy-dress event. Expecting a perfect fake-bake tan the very same day you want to party it up is going to get you pretty desperate and that road only leads to Sally Hansen’s Airbrush Legs in “Tan Glow”. So slow down sister and put down the spray.

Planning 1 week ahead of the Self-Tanner purchase:

Got my back? Text, Facebook, or bribe someone to be there to do your back (aren’t you glad you have a drawer full of 2 buck Tim Cards and perfume samples?) Here’s where it’s really good to plan a week ahead, as there’s something fun about the hung-over friend enduring you hiss, “evenly now…watch for streaks!”

Exfoliating – 4 days prior to browning your buns, every time you use that perfect scrub on that mitt or loofah think about targeting your rougher areas, knees, elbows, ankles, heels…but don’t over-scrub, make like Prince William and be thorough and gentle for the first few days.

Moisturize – 3 days prior to caramelizing your cute self.  Day and night cover entire body area with one of your favorite kinds.

Shaving – do it 2 days prior to slathering yourself in your fake-tan.

Vaseline – buy some. This will be used around your hairline and on eyebrows to prevent unwanted coloring if you want to do your face.

Is your bathroom steamy? Run out of there! Apply tanner in any room that doesn’t feel like a sauna. Make sure your skin is totally dry. Some say to put on moisturizer pre-self tanner but it depends on the oils interfering in the moisturizer with the product. Be your own judge on this one.

Hands – Have a sudsy nail brush ready and frequently wash during the process. Baby wipes are “handy” too.

Application – Instead of focusing on rubbing it all the way in, focus more on doing a nice even application. Some say you should mix self-tanner with moisturizer on those patchy areas like knees, elbows, heels, ankles – again you decide what you’d like to do.

Streaks – in 2-3 hours you should be able to start seeing the tan. If there’s streaks in any area try using lemon juice.

Re-Tan - After 3-4 days or showers (whichever comes first depending on where you work, who you know, and how much you liked the person who did your back) is when your fake-tan needs your love.

Upkeep – moisturize daily, and clearly after 3 weeks of doing this entire self-tanning process almost 7 times you will be rooting around in your orange-stained pile of laundry for your jeans where you remembered writing down a website for cheap flights to Maui on the cocktail napkin from yet another blacked out binge-drinking night.

Exfoliation for the Nation

Some of the sugar scrubs are chock full o’ oils which can leave small, but affective enough amount of residue on your body which can interfere with the performance potential of your sunless-tanner. You may want to choose a more natural scrub offering a clean sweep on the body eliminating oily residues. I have learned that apricot kernel and other jagged, natural scrubs are too abrasive on the body, but I’ll leave that up for you and your puffy loofah to decide what types of scrubs suit you.

Indulgence Scrubs:

Vichy:  This is not just for dry skin, it’s for someone who needs two sizes of exfoliating beads and wants serious exfoliation prior to fake-tanning. The smell is mild and it’s incredibly addictive and moisturizing.

Vichy Lipidose Nutritive Exfoliant Body Scrub

H2O: If you go to the Eaton Center’s location talk to Gilda – she’s been there for 18 years and won’t lie to you about products. Here’s the one that she claims is perfect for prepping skin for self- tanning time as it has Aloe Vera, Pro-vitamin B, Apricot Seed Powder and their patented hydrating marine blend.  This is the one to use over the Spa Sea Salt Skin Smoother in the tub, because that has Sweet Almond Oil which interferes with the self-tanning process.

Spa Sea Salt Foaming Body Polish

Clinique: I asked those selected from different department counters the popular and effective scrub pre-self tanning and this one came up many times giving me confidence that it is a good choice.  

Sparkling Skin Body Exfoliating Cream

Budget Scrubs:

Aveeno: Here’s a brand that is affordable and delicious smelling without that phony fruit sickly sweet overtone found in some of the cheapy-cheap brands. It lives up to the Aveeno name as the natural smoothing aspects of both walnut shell and rice beads have your skin baby soft ready for self-tanning magic.

Aveeno Smoothing Body Wash with Rice and Pomegranate

Kibio:  For those who do appreciate organic products this one will be a gift for you. It’s not only affordable but contains Shea Butter, Cranberry Seeds and Lemongrass (revitalizing!) for a trifecta to exfoliate and eliminate dead skin cells.

Exfoliating Body Scrub


Get a deep, darker color:

Clarins: Old-timers and Newbies both know this product as a stable, sensible self-tanning choice. Here are two options to choose from that have a great rep.

Delicious Self-Tanning Cream

Self Tanning Instant Gel

Neostrata: A Canadian brand for those patriotic enough to hug Bonhomme but don’t want to look like him. With their reasonable price-point and industry respect, here’s one that cosmetic managers swear by. Good for a uniform application that is appropriate for all skin types. Contains the highest available DHA of 6.5%  - tan will deepen after a few hours post-application.

Natural Insta-Tan Self Tanner

L’Oreal: There’s a few products that women scramble to buy in the seasonal section. This is the top one. If the drugstore carries it, the time will begin around mid-April and it’s pulled off the shelf as soon as the back to school notebooks go up in August. Stock up on this sweetly priced winner – you won’t regret it.  

Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Line

LORACHere is a newbie on the block getting great buzz because of positive points like it’s transfer-resistant, gradual, long-lasting and very moisturizing with a vanilla scent.


One to mention that is Organic and for the more pale-skin toned:

Josie Maran: 70% Organic, 100% natural, Fragrance-Free and highly recommended. Dry and de-hydrated skinned gals -  If you’re a trend spotter you’ll know that Argan Oil is the magic ingredient behind the “Moroccan Oil” products due to its incredibly moisturizing properties and ability to keep skin soft. You can use this safely on your face as it’s free of Parabens, synthetic dyes, and petrochemicals.

Argan Self Tanning Cream

Specifically for Sensitive Pale Skin

La Roche Posay: Sensitive gals take note – this you can handle. It’s easy to use and dries quickly.

Autohelios Gel-Creme

Pur Mineral: Here’s a fabulous line which is offering a product that has ingredients to hydrate your skin such as Grape Seed Extract, Aloe, and Hyaluronic Acid. It won’t streak, clog pores, and dries quickly with a nice citrus scent.

Get a Little Luxurious Self-Tanning Lotion

First Choice for the Face:

Clinique:  For a natural tan that develops in 1-2 hours. As with your body, the rules apply to your face. There are gentle scrubs out there for exfoliation – just make sure you are using a scrub you are already familiar with. I don’t discourage you from mixing it with your moisturizer – you decide what works best for you.

Self Sun Face tinted lotion