Saturday, January 24, 2015

Soft skin routine

I'm not a pro and I don't want to toot my own horn too hard, but I've got some soft skin. And I've been doing this same routine since my early high school days and I feel like I've got it down to an (imprecise) science. So here is my routine for soft skin!

I feel like this step is pretty underrated or maybe not even included in most routines, but it is important! This opens your pores, loosens things up and is a great prep for the next steps! Think of it as soaking your dirty dishes so it's easier to scrub off those nasties. Kind of a gross metaphor, but you get it.

How to: Basically, if you're in the shower or taking a bath, you're already completing this step, but just be sure to let your body steam and soak in the water for a few minutes. I usually shampoo and condition my hair, and by then my skin is ready for the next steps.

Super important! As I'm sure you guys know, exfoliating removes dead skin to reveal smooth fresh skin!

How to: I usually just make my own scrub, but you can of course use one that's store bought. It's actually really easy to make your own scrub. I usually just mix sugar with my shower gel, easy peasy. But I will be making another post dedicated to making your own scrub, so stay tuned!

This step is of course optional, but basically this whole routine is optional. Do you. My favourite razor is probably the schick intuition, but honesty, I usually just use disposable razors. Like, not even the fancy ones. I think what's important is using a new (or relatively new) razor. And if you're being careful and taking your time, I don't feel like the type of razor really matters. I know we've probably all been shaving since way back when, but here are a few tips: Shave in the opposite direction the hair grows (so that could mean shaving in like, 6 different directions) and it helps to shave the same area multiple times (unless your skin is sensitive to razor burn), to be sure to get all that hair.

Another key step! Exfoliating and moisturizing are the two main things you gotta do. I moisturize everywhere everyday. I get out of the shower, towel dry myself, apply lotion all over while I'm still in the steamy bathroom and stay there while it absorbs. This may sound like a lot, but really, it's only an extra few minutes and it makes such a difference! My all-time favourite body lotions are the St. Ives ones. They're light and absorb quickly, are really moisturizing and don't have a strong scent. But I would recommend a body butter if you have really dry skin.

Ideally I would do this routine 2-3 times a week, but I usually do it once a week or once every week and a half. But whenever I do this routine my skin is sooo soft and it's soo nice!

If you have any problem areas, treat them with care. If you have some bacne going on you probably don't want to be using a super oily scrub there (so I'd use the same scrub I use on my face for those areas). Also, some areas (like ankles, knees) could use some extra scrubbie time, while other areas (maybe chest area, or upper thighs) could be more sensitive, so treat those areas with care!

I hope this post helped and I hope it wasn't all just stuff you already know. I think what's really important is upkeep. Even just moisturizing everyday after the shower and staying in the steamy bathroom for a few minutes can make a huge difference.

Thanks for reading and check back soon for my post on making your own body scrub!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

On face Masks

I love face masks. They're fun, do some real good, and are basically a necessity for sleepovers. I received a few face masks for Christmas this past year and I feel like I have all that I could ever need! I usually use a face mask every few days and I tend to go in a specific order: I use a mask that draws out impurities, one that zaps any problem areas (that may have come to the surface because of the previous mask) and then a more nourishing and moisturizing one (to sort of even things out). Here are the ones that I've been using and loving so far!

To draw out Impurities/Deep cleansing

Origins Clear Improvement Active charcoal mask to clear pores - $29 for 3.4 oz
This mask has charcoal which really pulls out all the guky stuff you got (or at least, I got) going on deep in your skin. It's the same stuff that's in the ever so popular Supermud clearing treatment. The formula is actually a lot thinner that I thought it would be, but definitely does get the job done.

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay - $18 for 16 oz
This stuff is intense. More intense than the Origins Clear Improvement mask, and perhaps more intense than the Supermud clearing treatment (but I haven't tried that one so I wouldn't know). This mask basically feels like you've paper-mached your face. But it definitely pulls out all of them impurities. If you have oily troubled skin, this is the mask for you. Even if you don't, this mask is still great. It will clear up any situation you've got. This mask is actually just the clay, so you gotta mix it in with apple cider vinegar (this one is recommended and is what I use) but you can use water if you're in a pinch. For the amount of product you get, this mask is really affordable!

To zap what's on the surface and clear things up

Origins Out of Trouble 10 minute mask to rescue problem skin - $29 for 3.4 oz
I mentioned this in my skincare favourites and how it really does get my skin "out of trouble". This is another perfect face mask if you have oily troubled skin. It's also another clay mask and it smells kinda like Noxzema and Vicks (which I kinda dig).

Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque - $11 for 8 oz
Another great clay mask. Does what you would want: soak up that oil, quickens healing time of problem areas and leaves skin feeling smooth and clean. And just FYI, it claims to "rinse away blackheads" - def doesn't do that but def worth the purchase.

To Nourish and Moisturize

Origins Drink Up 10 minute to quench skin's thirst - $29 for 3.4 oz
This mask feels like a really rich lotion that doesn't quite sink in all the way and smells like apricots! It's really hydrating and and softening. The bottle says that you don't really need to rinse it off you can just wipe it off, keeping some of that moisturizing goodness on your skin as an added bonus!

St. Ives Smooth and Nourished oatmeal scrub and mask - ~$5 for ~5 oz
This one does have little exfoliators in so you could use it just as a scrub, or leave it on for a mask then use circular motion when you rinse off for that exfoliation. Double whammy! Another softening and moisturizing mask. Not as hydrating as the Origins Drink Up, but still definitely does that soothing and softening thing. It's great for when you're skin is feeling a little dry, a little irritated, maybe has some flakiness and just needs a gentle scrub and a hug.

Well there yah have it! A high-end and more affordable face mask to satisfy all your needs! Thanks for reading! :)

Monday, January 5, 2015

2014 Skincare and Non-Beauty Favourites

Alrighty, continuing on (from my previous post), here are the rest of my favourites from 2014!

Skincare and Body Favourites 

Non-Beauty favourites

  • The collection by Chesapeake bay candle in cashmere plum (From Target) - Cashmere plum!!!  Burnt through half of it in two days. For me it's a perfect everyday sweet, cozy floral but mild scent.
  • Cozy nights candle - Also from Target. It's a warm, sweet and cozy but also musky. Really similar to Bath and Body Work's fireside marshmallow. I bought one for myself and showed my family and they all loved it. My sister bought one, got one for Christmas from our mom and I bought one for my friend for her birthday. Seriously so good! 
  • Gold cold cup by Starbucks - I love this! It's similar to that goldy-green duo chrome nail polish from my previous post and has divet-like details on it. Hard to explain, but it just looks so cool! 
  • Gold Cursive monogram mug from Chapters - Got this from my mom for Christmas! I feel so fancy whenever I use it :D
  • Celestial seasoning candy cane lane tea - It's minty green tea with a little vanilla, cinnamon and blackberry. But also has some depth thanks to the carob and chicory. So good I bought a backup for when I run out! Delicious hot or iced, with or without cream and sugar.
  • Sketchbook - I bought this at my school's bookstore in the fine arts section. It's perfect for doodling, list making, writing and pretty much anything, I've even glued pictures in it. It lays felt when opened, it's not lined and has paper that's quite porous (is that a thing?) so it absorbs ink well and I don't know.. It's good paper! I love this, definitely will be buying a new one when I finish it.

Other Favourites:

Movies and TV shows:
  • Guardians of the Galaxy - The movie was soo good! I'd even put it at the same level of The Avengers. You need to go watch it. 
  • Mockingjay part I - The first part of the closing movie in the Hunger Games series. Loved the books, loved all the movies and this one did not disappoint. Really curious how they're going to make the final movie (in the book, things got real intense real quick)
  • Criminal minds - it's creepy, it's dark, it ties in psychology with criminology. It's also a little corny. I love it.
  • Supernatural - also dark and and creepy, but definitely also goofy! 
  • The 4400 - Similar to the other Netflix show The 100, it's Sci-fi-y, action-y but kind of cheesy. It's about these 4400 people who have disappeared at various times in the last century, but all reappear in a ball of light, no different from when they disappeared and with no memory of where they were. Dun dun dunnn. Spoiler: some of them have powers! 
  • Terra Nova - similar to both those shows. It's set in the future where Earth is no longer habitable (overpopulation, global warming, no clean air, etc.),  the Shannon family travel to Terra Nova, a sort of parallel universe that is similar to the time when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, for a new beginning. Cheesy, corny, lots of dinosaur attacks, action, rebel "6ers", weird marking on the rocks that are "outside the fence", what more could you ask for? 

  • The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling - I actually read this for the FIRST time this summer! I remember re-reading the first chapter like a million times, trying to get into it but never could. But since it's been almost a decade since then, I'd thought I'd give it another go. And of course, I loved it! I really want to re-read the series. So so good!
  • The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls - If you like a good memoir, read this. It tells the story (from childhood to adulthood) of a girl, growing up in poverty with parents that didn't really know how to be parents. They were definitely intelligent, artistic and were very interesting people but were not good with money or parenting. It opened up my eyes to the positive side of living in the streets and those who feel burdened by their parents. This memoir is so rich and just.. gives you all the feels. I recommend! 

  • iSleep Easy app - don't let the name fool you, this app is serious stuff. I've used this all year and it has seriously changed my life! I've always had difficulty falling asleep (and admittingly, still do) and this app has helped so much. There's 10 different guided sleep mediations, some are shorter and are "openings", then there's some that are the main mediations. You can also customize your own playlist (I usually make mine go on for a lonngg time), choose from different music for the background, you can have the music play at the end of your playlist and there's even a "wee hours rescue". It is a but pricy ($5) for an app, but for me, it's totally worth! My favourites are the "relax into bed", "sleep affirmations" and the "autogenic relaxation". There's also a similar app that's made by the same people that's free, if you want to check it out before you buy this one!

I hope you guys enjoyed looking back at some of my favourites of this year! And I hope everyone had a safe and fun New Year's! I spent mine diving in the world of bagel making! (They were a success!)