Color Blast by Orly

Take a look at the swatches of these super-fab colours I found at the pharmacy on clearance (very rarely, if ever, will I pay for cosmetics at full-price).

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I paid $4.96 for each of these beautiful colours. The teal colour is called Electric Blue. Two coats is all I needed to make this colour look its best. I’m a major sucker for anything blue, green, or especially teal. Electric Blue is a gentle but stand out-ish cream-based colour, and for myself it is a colour I’d wear daily (because I’m a teal fanatic, I must have EVERY variation of teal on the market). The second colour is a gorgeous rich sapphire blue, called Twilight, that has speckles of holographic glitter in it. This is definitely a fancy and celebrational colour, that you’d wear when you’re feeling extra glitzy, or going somewhere special.

2013-01-22 19Here is a second pic, that shows off the glitter in the darker blue better.

Ignoring my horribly dry and Canadian-winter-abused cuticles, you can see the glitter and both colours are real pretty. The blue does need to be shaken up every time I apply a new coat, but I find that is a good habit to get into when using any nail lacquer.

I have typically only used Orly nail lacquer, but I have seen several Orly “subsidiary” brands, if you will. Definitely worth checking these out! I found them at Rexall for under $5, but I don’t think they are all that expensive at full price.

 

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MoroccanOil’s Body Soufflé: Better than their actual moroccan oil

Years back, a hairstylist used MoroccanOil brand moroccan oil on my hair. It seemed to make my hair all sorts of awesome. I’m not quite certain whether it was the flat iron, other products, or the oil, but they sure seemed certain that the oil should accept credit for my luxurious locks. Of course, the scheme here was to get me to buy the oil, which was insanely over-priced, and there was maybe a 5% change I could re-create the look at home.

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I did not purchase the MoroccanOil at that time, though I did at a later date. And yes, you can bet I was disappointed. It was over-priced, and didn’t do anything much for my hair. I much prefer coconut oil or olive oil, if I’m doing a treatment. If you’ve bought this and it has worked for you –  hi-fives all around. But don’t fall into the hype.

Onto a MoroccanOil product I do enjoy! This light and fluffy body soufflé (as they call it) has a very light and  warm scent, with a hint of jasmine. It isn’t the smell I really enjoy about this, but more the texture. It surprised me, because it goes on so light, yet moisturizes so well. The packaging is simply gorgeous, and looks great on a bathroom or bedroom vanity.  It moisturizes impressively well, and absorbs quickly. Unfortunately, I am unable to find the ingredients on Makeup Alley, or the MoroccanOil Website (aside from them mentioning it contains shea butter and moroccan oil).

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Try it for yourself!

If you’re going to use conditioner – try this one.

My extended stay in America has been fabulous. The repeated failure of Greyhound to take me home has resulted in a complimentary voucher for the next time I travel, and extra time for me to spend with my boyfriend and other NH lovelies. I’ve been here since December 5th, and don’t leave for home until tomorrow. I’m already eager to return for New Years Eve.

gosh-cosmeticsWith that said, I can never get my brain to stop with the many blog possibilities. I was hesitant to post about this almost daily winter-time love of mine, because I fear the cruelty-free status of this product is questionable. If anyone has any information on the cruelty-free status of Goshgoshmuchmore Cosmetics – feel free to comment below!

Peta still continues to list them on their Companies That Don’t Test list, however, when I click on the link to their site (GoshAmericas.com), I get a generic “page cannot be found” message. They still exist at Gosh.dk (their Danish website), so I am hoping they are undergoing some sort of overhaul on their American website.

Their Much More Moist! Conditioner is a product I’ve used in the colder months, when just using apple cider vinegar or white vinegar as a rinse won’t cut it. The product includes ingredients like seaweed, honey, and hyaluronic acid. It’s got a unique smell to it – kind of.. vegetable-y? I am not sure if I’m smelling the beet root in it, or what.

I use a small amount of this conditioner (which comes in a convenient pump, and lasts just about forever), on the ends of my hair, and leave it in for about 3-5 minutes in the shower. It leaves my hair so soft and looking lovely. It has a relatively short list of ingredients, which I prefer to the extensive lists I see in many cosmetics / skin care products. It often goes on sale at Shoppers Drug Mart for $7-8. If you’ve got dry hair, and would prefer not to go without conditioner, I’d suggest you check this out 🙂

UPDATE: Favourite lip balms for sensitive lips!

This entry is somewhat of an update to my other posts about lip balms, glosses, stains, and all that delicious stuff. Click here, and here to check them out!

Since that post, I’ve tried several lip balms, and the majority of them have not resulted in the gross post-surgery lips, as I tend to call them. Read on to find out what I’ve used, love, and other products I want to try!

While their products are catered moreso to guys, Jack Black makes a fabulous line of skin care products, and they also make lip balms. These give your lips somewhat of a glossy sheen, and the different varieties are very tasty combinations! I have tried two of their lip balms. Vanilla Lavender, and Grapefruit Ginger. Both of these were great, but I preferred the Vanilla Lavender. A great plus about these balms: most of them are gluten-free and fragrance-free! Other intriguing flavours include Lemon & Chamomile, and Black Tea & Blackberry. All their balms have SPF 25, and my lips absolutely adored them. They sell for $7.50 a piece on Jack Black’s website, or you can purchase a kit, such as their cleverly-named Balm Squad, for $25 (which includes FOUR of these goodies). Their website also displays the ingredients for each of the different lip balms.

I will definitely consider purchasing these again! Love, love, love!

For those who follow me on Instagram, you may have seen me pimping out Desert Essence’s lip balms. I first discovered their Tea Tree Oil Therapeutic Lip Balm, and was so excited to find a more affordable lip balm that agreed with my lips. They say this is good for cold sores and cracked lips. I can’t comment on the cold sores ( tea tree oil is antibacterial and healing, so that makes sense), but it definitely kept my lips moisturized and in a happy, healthy state. The second lip balm from Desert Essence that I’ve tried and loved (even more than the tea tree oil), was the Lip Rescue Moisturizing with Jojoba Oil. The smell is so refreshingly subtle, and it kept my lips so nice and moisturized. My boyfriend didn’t enjoy the tea tree oil lip balm, because it had a weird taste whenever he kissed me. And the jojoba lip balm was much more mild. It really comes down to personal preference with these products! I find tea tree oil very intense, so I like to switch it up between these two.

Vitacost had a sale on Desert Essence products, so last night I picked up FIVE of Desert Essence’s Lip Rescue Ultra Hydrating with Shea Butter lip balms, which I have not tried yet! Two for myself, and THREE for my boyfriend. They were a whopping $1.18 a piece – which totally blew my mind.

Desert Essence is a brand that has never let me down. I also see they sell lip tints (Vanilla Chai, anyone!?), if you’re looking for something with colour (I much prefer a nude lip on me) for $5.99 each! I can’t comment on whether they would work well on sensitive lips, but I’d say it’s worth a try!

There you have it – these are the winning lip products that I consider to be my favourites. There are others, however, that I feel deserve some level of honourable mention:

Crazy Rumors Lip Balms and Tints

I did a review on the products from this awesome company. You can check that out here. These products are vegan, cruelty-free, and their assortment of flavours are to die for! Their collections include inspirations of Soda Pop, Fall, Tea, and – HOLY SHIT – a new holiday Gingerbread lip balm! At $3.49 a piece, they are quite wallet-friendly. Their collections expanded to include lip tints they call HibisKiss, which I have never tried, but would love to hear what people have to say about them.

Green Beaver’s Winter Lip Balm

I’ve yet to try this, but I have heard people rave about how well it keeps lips moisturized and healthy in the most intense conditions. It is gluten-free, and the ingredients include goodies like rosemary leaf oil, castor seed oil, and shea butter.

Pangea Organics’ Pyrenees Lavender with Cardamom Lip Balm

While it is relatively expensive (at $14 CAD per tube), the tube is significantly larger than most lip balm sizes (I’d say it is about double). The lavender in this balm soothes the lips like none other, and it is this lip balm that got my lips healed and back to fabulous after my first horrible reaction in early 2011.

I hope this has helped all of you out there with sensitive lips. You definitely don’t have to be limited to using your mother’s vaseline – there are plenty of options!

MUAH!

Wanna look like the sexiest hooker ever? Let me do your makeup!

I often find myself wanting to put makeup on people – so these are a few pics from two Saturdays ago, when I dolled up my darling friend Sarah, who was so much fun to work with; I can’t wait to make her look like a high-class hooker again sometime!

We are a couple of goofs, and I was doing everything possible to make her laugh during photo-taking.

Look at those lashes – so pretty!

I used the brushes from Sigma’s Mrs Bunny Essential Kit to create this look, plus the Two Faced Matte Eye Palette.

Non-Comedogenic Oils: Here’s a list!

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I will let you know that I can be an extremely opinionated bitch when it comes to skin care, makeup, and what I think. But it doesn’t hurt to do a little bit of research here and there to back a lot of my nonsense up. I have been researching different oils; their comedogenicity, in particular. Comedogenicity basically refers to a product / ingredient’s ability to produce comedones aka cause you to break out.

I have researched a variety of sources online, and some of the results have been rather contradictory. It is important to take into account that just because something is typically comedogenic, doesn’t necessarily mean it will break YOU out.

I wanted to organize the different oils and present them in as simple a way possible to show how likely or unlikely it is that they will break you out. And the sources I used for this include soapnuts.com, momandpopsoapshop.com, and acne.org.

  •   Sweet Almond Oil
  • Apricot Kernel Oil
  • Castor Oil
  • Evening Primrose Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Safflower Oil
  • Emu Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil

  • Cottonseed Oil
  • Mink Oil
  • Corn Oil
  • Soybean Oil
  • Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil

  • Coconut Oil
  • Wheat Germ Oil

I was most surprised when I read (from several sources) that coconut oil falls higher on the scale of non-comedogenic to comedogenic. I haven’t used it on my face in quite some time, but I wonder if it was ever a culprit in causing me to break out. I still use it as my only body moisturizer, and rarely ever break out anywhere except my face, so I’d still recommend it as the best moisturizer for the body.

Did you know?

Based on what I’ve read, jojoba oil is considered to be virtually non-comedogenic, and is touted by many experts and professionals as the best oil for anyone who is acne-prone. I don’t find it is hydrating enough for my dry skin (especially since beginning the Acne.Org regimen with benzoyl peroxide), though I have been using a mix of sweet almond, jojoba, and castor oil, and I find this works better to keep my skin hydrated.

Finding out what works for you is largely a trial-and-error process, but it pays off in the long run. Stick to the oils that have a low-clogging probability, and do your best to incorporate one new oil at a time so you can see if you notice the effects (positive or negative) each oil has on your skin.

Get ready for an intensive review.. of Acne.Org’s regimen!

I’ve ordered the bigger size of Acne.Org‘s skin care products, in order to specifically follow The Regimen, plus their AHA (alpha hydroxy acid). I had gone through most of my life acne-free (minus a zit here and there). And then last summer – BAM! Whether the boyfriend and I were doing too much makin’ out (he can grow some mean facial hair), or I started using a product that aggravated my skin, something happened to make my skin break out.  It hasn’t cleared up in any major sense since, though I have started benzoyl peroxide treatment, which has shown some promise so far. I’ll be doing a full review of their cleanser, moisturizer, benzyol peroxide, and AHA! I am so excited to receive these products – the review is going to be super fantabulous.

TIME FOR SOME ZIT ZAPPIN’!

For the love of pores, keep it simple!

**WARNING**

This post will be highly opinionated, and is primarily based on my own experiences (and whatever semblance of logic I have left). If you take personal offense to what I have to say, I’d suggest never using the internet ever again.

I know just how easy it is to get enticed by the allure of trying a new skin care product. Even when I think of how silly it sounds, I still can’t shake the idea that there is one product out there that will be my holy grail product, and I will never have to worry about zits, dryness, or redness again. Sure, there are fabulous products out there, but they are often on the exact opposite end of the shelf you had been gawking at for the past 2 hours and 45 minutes.

It won’t be long before skin care brands sell cleansers that promise to make our boobs bigger, butts tighter, and our brains grow these cyborg sidekicks that read minds. The point is, cleansers do NOT need to be these powerhouse products they are turning into. The purpose of a facial cleanser is to gently, non-abrasively remove oil and dirt from our skin’s surface. We do not need all of the extra frills that many cleansers claim to have, whether it be a cleanser that claims to provide a deeper clean, keep your skin clean even after you’ve washed, or cleansers that contain some degree of salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.

It is not that you never want to use products that contain ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or other skin-enhancing ingredients, but you aren’t going to see much of a benefit from these products in a cleanser. The product is only on your face for about 30 seconds, or less, and then it is washed off. So, smartypantses, why add extra ingredients to something, when it is totally unnecessary!?

Save the zit-zapping ingredients, and whatever other remedy-specific ingredients your skin requires, for the treatment products you apply after you cleanse. For example, toners, acne gels, moisturizers, serums, or even masks, and peels. These products sit on / absorb into the skin over an extended period, after you’ve cleansed, so you they have time for the ingredients to actually treat your skin woes.

Stick to cleansers that describe themselves as fragrance-free, gentle, a cleansing milk / cream instead of a gel, hypoallergenic, non-irritating, or for acne-prone skin. Many of the cleansers I’d suggest are not cruelty-free (Cetaphil, Spectro Jel), but there are cruelty-free options too (the Acne.org cleanser, for example). I’d suggest checking out Acne.org’s review section: it is a fabulous community!

Chemical Exfoliation: Not as Radioactive as it Sounds

Stay tuned for an update on a new favourite in my skin care collection: Andalou Naturals’ Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask!

This is the side of exfoliation that gets me extremely psyched! It definitely is not as intense as it sounds, and can actually be quite gentler than the mechanical methods of exfoliation I mentioned in my previous post.

Chemical exfoliation refers to the use of certain chemicals to facilitate a sloughing off of dead skin cells, and these chemicals also promote the regeneration of new skin cells. When you see words like brightening, or regenerating, it is often referring to the chemical exfoliation process. This is the ideal method of exfoliation if your skin is dry, sensitive, acneic, or if you’d like to get rid of red/brown spots from acne!

NO SCRUBBING REQUIRED!

The most common chemicals used to provide chemical exfoliation are AHAs, and BHAS (alpha & beta hydroxy acids). To find these ingredients in products, you want to look for ingredients called glycolic acid, salicylic acid, or lactic acid. Acne.org offers a10% AHA 6 oz tube (or 16 oz) for a pretty decent price (not to mention their version of AHA is fragrance and dye-free, and specifically formulated for those with acne-prone skin).

AHAs work by encouraging the skin to regenerate itself, and using them will result in a thinner outer layer of skin, that reflects light better and ensures dead cells aren’t sitting on the surface, dulling your complexion.

There are unique benefits to using either of the AHAs mentioned, but they all work on the skin in similar ways. Salicylic acid, a BHA, works very well at exfoliating our pores. It is used in 2% doses for spot blemish treatments, but used in other concentrations in products to promote exfoliating of the skin.

From what I have read (and I did research for this article – I will specify my sources below), lactic acid is the most effective of the AHAs, as well as being less irritating. It must be said, though, that what works well for one person may not work at all for another.

A warning for those interested in using AHAs – they can make your skin sun-sensitive, so it is either best to invest in a good sunscreen / makeup with SPF, or to only wear your AHA products at night.

Retinol (or Vitamin A), is also a commonly used product in products that claim to be anti-aging, exfoliating, or brightening. It can be harsh if used too often, but definitely effective in a mask or treatment that you use 3 times a week!

Be sure to pick up a papaya, pineapple, or pumpkin fruit enzyme mask, if you’d like to try a gentler form of chemical exfoliation! Alba makes a really great one (IT IS CLEAR AND GREEN, HA!), that I really enjoyed.

You need not grab that facial scrub to get the super smooth and soft skin you so-eagerly desire!

Sources

The Dermal Institute: http://www.dermalinstitute.com/us/library/20_article_Methods_of_Exfoliation.html

Discovery Health: How to Exfoliate Skin: http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/cleansing/tips/how-to-exfoliate-skin.htm/

Exfoliation (Cosmetology): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exfoliation_%28cosmetology%29

Acne.Org’s take on AHA: http://www.danielkern.com/product-p/aha-6.htm

The Classy Anarchist Tells All: About Exfoliating Your Skin!

Ever have one of those days, where you look in the mirror and see a dull, and lifeless face looking back at you? Your skin seems like it has no glow, and those damned zits have healed, but they leave red or brown-ish marks that take months to fade? I don’t think we need makeup to give our skin a natural glow. By exfoliating regularly, we can shed those dulling dead skin cells from our face, revealing the fresher healthy skin beneath. Exfoliating helps to even your skin tone, give oil and dirt the boot, as well as prevent acne!

Before you whine about how your skin is too sensitive for facial scrubs, I will tell you there are types of exfoliation more appropriate for dry, sensitive type.

There are two major types of exfoliation methods. Mechanical, and chemical. I am going to discuss mechanical exfoliation in this blog entry, and will continue with chemical exfoliation in the following entry.

Most of us consider mechanical exfoliation to be the primary way we exfoliate. This would be through the use of facial scrubs, cloths, or any other tool you use to physically wash your skin for the purpose of exfoliating. Many facial or body scrubs contain ground walnut shell, oatmeal, sugar, or some sort of microbead that works to physically remove the dead skin cells, oil, and dirt, when you wash your skin with them.

The most harsh of these include loofahs (for the love of god, never on the face), walnut shell scrubs, and sugar scrubs. They can be effective, but someone who does not have excessively oily skin ought not use any of these methods more than once a week (if at all, arguably). If you have breakouts, these methods run the risk of irritating already pissed off pores, and will result in excessive redness and make your breakouts worse!

I used to use St Ives’ Apricot Scrub (the one with 2% salicylic acid), and while this did work relatively well for some time, I think it actually increased my skin’s sensitivity, and irritation, gradually over the years.

If you absolutely *have* to exfoliate using a mechanical method, I would suggest using a product that contains those microbeads (usually advertised on the product), as opposed to crushed fruit pits, shells, or even sugar. Oatmeal is also a gentler method. Check out the scrub section on Vitacost, as they list all ingredients. I did notice that Devita offers a Gentle Aloe Facial Scrub with jojoba easters (beads!), and this would be a good choice for anyone looking to mechanically exfoliate.

Check back for what I have to say about chemical exfoliation (my favourite method)!