Winter Skincare Must-Haves: Night Time

Surely you’ve heard about the famous (or infamous) Korean-derived-almost-OCD-like skincare regimen. While the deeply revered 10-step routine can be a little excessive (but comprehensive) for some, because “aintnobodygottimeforthat!!”, it’s worth noting that Koreans subscribe to a philosophy where skin must be handled with the utmost care. Whether your routine consists of 5 steps or 15, what you put in is what you get out. BECAUSE SCIENCE. TRUST. My tips/products below might not work for you, because we’re all unique snowflakes and all of our needs are different, but winter is high time for hydration and BAD THINGS HAPPEN WHEN YOUR SKIN IS DRY. Don’t let it happen to you. WINTER SKINCARE: NIGHT TIME 1. MAKEUP REMOVER: Before using your cleanser, you need to remove your makeup. Because if you don’t, it’s like showering with your clothes on… it’s still there. Cleansing oils are gentle and perfect for dry, dehydrated skin. Right now I’m using Garnier Clean+Nourishing Cleansing Oil. I’m not crazy about the scent so it’s not my favourite (SHOUT OUT TO THESE ALL-STARS, THOUGH: MAC Cleanse Off Oil, Boscia Make-up Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil), but for a drugstore price that does the same job as Boscia and MAC I guess it’ll suffice.

2. CLEANSER: Thorough cleansing is key to minimizing the possibility of breakouts! My all-time favourite is Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple Cleanser. It’s ultra-gentle, removes whatever residue is left from your cleansing oil, and your face feels SQUEAKY CLEAN but not tight. I also use the Foreo Luna with this cleanser and I like it a lot more than the Clarisonic. I KNOW, I KNOW, everyone and their grandmothers are all about their Clarisonics, but hear me out: yes, the initial cost is more than a Clarisonic but you need to replace your Clarisonic brush head every 3-4 months depending on how often you use it, otherwise the bacteria and gunk in the bristles will render your Clarisonic useless (the Foreo Luna doesn’t need brush replacement). But listen, I did the math for you and over time you’ll end up spending more money on a Clarisonic. TRADE UP FOR A FOREO LUNA AND NEVER LOOK BACK, YOU GUYS.

3. THE TONER: I alternate between Mario Badescu’s Glycolic Acid Toner and the Special Cleansing Lotion “C”. The former is a GAME-CHANGER. Contrary to popular belief, problematic skin isn’t only reserved for those afflicted with the throes of puberty… I THOUGHT I WAS DONE WITH THAT SH&T. But alas, I’ve had so much trouble with my skin over the past few years; regular use of MB’s GAT helped clear my skin and remove all of the hyper-pigmentation from past breakouts. Further, Special Cleansing Lotion “C” has significantly improved the oiliness in my t-zone, and I like using it when I feel like my pores need a deep clean. Mario Badescu makes really good sh&t. Trust.

4. THE TREATMENTS: (Whatever your treatments are, the rule of thumb is to layer from thinnest to thickest in consistency). I’m a long time fan of Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate. Put it on before you go to sleep and then you WAKE UP IN THE MORNING FEELING LIKE P.DIDDY!! Kidding. I digress, this makes your skin noticeably radiant, rested, hydrated, and smooth the next morning. It’s the MVP of my night time skincare regime and I give you permission to ignore all of the products I suggest in this post EXCEPT for this one. You need it in your life. It’s insane. Like, witchcraft insane. You can thank me later. Additionally, I recently started using Ole Henriksen’s Invigorating Night Treatment Gel; it’s super lightweight and encourages cell turnover, which improves skin texture and “brightness” i.e., your skin won’t be dull from BEING SO DRY ALL THE TIME, THANKS WINTER.

Skin Food Black Sugar Wash Off Mask – I use this once a week as an exfoliator. Exfoliating goes a long way because sloughs off dead skin cells (preventing clogged pores), which is important for skin turnover. If your skin looks dull, try exfoliating once a week but avoid micro-beads. Those are nay good for your face.
Sheet Masks – These are excellent for when you’re turning down for the evening. Look for masks with hyaluronic acid, and you’re sorted. They can really pick up the slack when you’re trying to save money on serums or if you need a little extra radiance (e.g. I like to mask on extremely cold days or if I went drinking the night before)
Mario Badescu Drying Lotion – Super potent spot treatment when you’ve got a massive zit on your face. 

5. THE EYE CREAM: I’m not super picky about what I need my eye cream to do; all I ask is that it’s lightweight, moisturizing, has no scent, and absorbs quickly. Currently, I’m using Sibu Sea Buckthorn age defying eye cream. I don’t have any lines that need to be eliminated (#foreveryoung, y’all) so I can’t speak to any of its “age defying” properties.

6. THE MOISTURIZER & NIGHT CREAM: After applying all of the above, you need one more layer to LOCK IN all of the hydration and treatments that you just applied onto your skin. I’m a huge fan of the Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream but during my recent trip to Korea, I discovered the Laneige Water Sleeping Pack. Sleeping Pack’s are essential to Korean skincare regimes, yet they haven’t caught on in North America. At all. Except that sleeping packs are like the grand finale to achieving smooth, glowy skin in the morning. Both products are super lightweight and absorb quickly (so don’t worry about having all this stuff rub off on your pillow) but will keep your face hydrated all night long. This seems like a lengthy process, but it really only takes 4-5 minutes (yes I timed it for the purposes of this post). A solid skincare regime is only half the battle as diet and hormones have a lot to do with how your skin looks. However, prevention and nurturing early on will help you reap the #flawless rewards when you’re 40.



Black Friday Haul

HELLO! I’m here! I’m alive! Some things:

1. I’m back from Seoul, pictures coming soon!

2. Winter is… coming here

3. Black Friday Sephora Haul…. oops.

Sephora Haul

Philosophy Purity Made Simple Cleanser – After using a cleansing oil (currently using Boscia Makeup-Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil, it’s REALLY good), Purity gently cleanses and leaves your face feeling squeaky clean.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream & Face Cleanser – Heard great reviews about this brand and was interested in trying it out!

Formula X “Chaotic” & “Hypnotize” – This nail polish seems to get nothing but rave reviews, obviously needed to see what the hype was about. For science!

NEST Fragrances roller ball trio in “Indigo”, “Dahlia & Vines”, and “Midnight Fleur” – I own Indigo & Midnight Fleur, they’re 2 of my current favourite fragrances and now I have them in a travel-size roller ball so that I can touch up during the day. What if you’ve got dinner and/or drinks after work? Freshening up your scent is a nice little pick me up after an exhausting day. Makes you feel a little bit more “put together” when you actually feel tired and shambles.

That’s all. Later gators. As mentioned above, Seoul pictures coming soon + maybe the rest of my Australia pictures, right?


Product Pantry: July/August 2014

It's a 10, NEST fragrance, L'Oreal Miss Manga Mascara, Maybelline Fit Me Concealer, OrganixHere’s a small collection of beauty products that I’ve been really enjoying these past few months… aka a blog post version of “show and tell” in elementary school.

1. “It’s a 10” Miracle Leave-in Product: In June, I got bored of my hair and decided to have it lightened. For us dark-haired girls, achieving lighter hair is a journey and not a one-time session where voila, your hair is the shade you want it to be after one session. As such, I’ve had my hair processed twice (first to remove the pigment, second to put the new colour in) to get it to the shade it is right now, which is an ashy light brown with ombre and highlights so I’ve needed to step up my hair care game. Lo Bosworth raved about this in one of her videos as well as Amy Pham from The Platform and so I figured I’d hop on the bandwagon. I spritz this in my hair after I get out of the shower & just let my hair air-dry. Sorted.

2. Organix Root Boost Spray: In addition to “It’s a 10”, I spray this in my roots for added volume. My hair is already thick to begin with, but I’m not a fan of that super slippery clean-hair texture so this also gives it a nice grip at the roots. It doesn’t feel heavy, it doesn’t leave any sort of residue or build up, so it’s pretty much awesome and I will definitely repurchase.

3. Maybelline Fit Me Concealer: This + Tarte Amazonian Clay Airbrush Foundation has been my go-to, minimal effort, get your face on in under 5 mins summer face routine.  Sidenote: People claim that this is a dupe for NARS radiant creamy concealer, and it’s NOT. Fit Me is still a great product but it’s lighter coverage, and more gel-like in consistency whereas NARS is creamier, fuller coverage, and longer lasting.

4. NEST Fragrance “Midnight Fleur”: I’m not good at describing scents. But Sephora describes it as “Exotic wood, patchouli, and black amber … blended with sensual notes of night-blooming jasmine and vanilla orchid. The combination of these notes is bold, irresistible, and purely sensual.” I’ve been on a never-ending search for a night time perfume; Elizabeth & James Nirvana “Black” smells amazing in the bottle and spritzed on those fragrance cards but it lacked depth when it was on my skin, so disappointing! I don’t know what it is about “Midnight Fleur”, it’s sweet and dark, and I kind of want to bathe in it.

5: L’Oreal Miss Manga Mascara: I’m a loyal Maybelline mascara fan, but after seeing tubes of this everywhere I decided to try it out because my logic was, manga = asian = thick voluminous eye lashes for asians with dinky lashes. This is a great mascara that does everything it says it will do (mega volume). I tend to enjoy mascaras after they’ve tried out a little bit but this formula was already great when I opened the tube. Good stuff, L’Oreal.



The Face Shop

Korean cosmetic retailer, The Face Shop, opened at Market Mall last month, you guys!
The Face ShopI’ve never heard of The Face Shop until it opened, but my asian-skincare-enthusiast friends were VERY familiar with the brand and were quick to convince me that their products are LOVELY. So I did what any proper beauty junkie would do & stocked up on some skincare goodies, which are all made from natural ingredients. Koreans are known for their 1000-step skincare regimes, so I’m pretty sure they know a thing or two about the pursuit of immaculate skin.


I’M BACK! + Current Obsessions

OMYGOODNESS HELLLOOOOOO! ! ! !! ! ! !!!! After taking an unintended hiatus from blogging (because winter ruins everything, you guys). I’m back and resolving to maintain a somewhat regular writing schedule! It’s like I’ve come out of hibernation after a long winter and it feels GREAT.

Let’s start things off with: THINGS I’M CURRENTLY OBSESSED WITH.

Sephora’s VIB 15% off sale is SO dangeroux but SO wondrous. I’m telling you, these goodies in the picture below are ACE. I’m not one for writing product reviews because there are PLENTY of reviews ‘on-the-line’ for these, so all I’ll say is that they’re mucho fantastic and worth the splurge. Tarte Amazonian Clay Airbrush Foundation, Tarte Airbuki Brush, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, Too-Faced Primed & Poreless Pressed Powder [Insert rhetorical question here, like what did you get at the VIB sale? I know you won’t leave a comment, but maybe one of you will humour me.]

Ok that’s all. It’s nice to be back! :)


Nothing rhymes with orange.

As per usual, winter has overstayed its welcome (not that it was very welcome to begin with) and I am SO READY for spring to get here. One thing that I’m looking forward to are orange lips – it’s definitely not the easiest thing to pull off but the pop of colour adds a playful warm glow. So muster up that courage to wear it, because it’s flattering on almost any skin tone.

Some things to keep in mind:
1. Because of the yellow pigment in orange lipstick, it WILL emphasize the yellow in your teeth. So get on that whitening toothpaste, kick that coffee/red wine habit, or take a mixture of baking soda + lemon brushed onto your teeth once a week.
2. Since you’re going bold with the lip colour, keep the rest of your makeup understated: black eye liner/mascara, light brown eyeshadow, highlight, and bronzer. Orange will also accentuate any redness on your face so make sure to conceal any blemishes or redness on your face and skip the blush.
3. Opt for a matte shade. With a colour as bright as orange, feathering around the lips is much more noticeable and less forgiving. Glossier or moisturizing formulas have a tendency to bleed whereas matte formulas don’t.

My faves: MAC “Neon Orange”, MAC “So Chaud”, & Revlon “Kiss Me Coral”

red orange 1

red orange 2

red orange 3

red orange 4

Be daring. Have fun.
This is the only kind of drama that you should allow in your life ;)


fall/winter essentials

Every fall/winter, I seem to be drawn to my tried and true favourites. Don’t get me wrong, I love summer just as much as the next person. It often results in several weeks of walking in and out of Bath & Body Works to smell their fall candles and walking out empty handed until I finally decide to cave. Only then do I start to openly embrace the return of cooler temperatures! Here are a few of my necessities:

{ pinky-nude nail polish }

{ vampy lips – left to right: plum bright, prince noir, runaway red, media}

{ because having chapped lips & dry skin is the WORST }

{ chunky statement necklaces }

{ “fall” scented candles – leaves & cranberry woods – mMmm }

<3 MC