My daily routine may sound extra for some women. Yes, I double cleanse at night time. Yes, I use two toners twice a day. Yes, I have an eye cream. Yes, I use serums. But I cannot stress how much I love my skin compared to what it was a couple of years ago. It isn’t the perfect canvas but it is the best it has ever been and I am over the age of 30! Who says they have great skin past the age of 30? This girl!
I will say that healthy skin isn’t completely dependent on skincare. It also is dependent on the nutrients you are putting into your skin. I don’t smoke cigarettes. I try to keep the drinking at a minimum (try). Water is a staple throughout my day. Health and beauty are correlated in so many ways. I will ALWAYS say this in every post: the more you take care of yourself, the better you will look. While this is true, you can eat your way to better skin there are things on the market that can boost vibrancy, help with hydration and decrease your wrinkles. It’s all about finding the right products. And there is one product that always goes unnoticed: the toners.
Most people never even consider adding a toner into their skin care routine. They don’t understand why we would be rubbing something that seems like water over our skin before putting on our serums and moisturizer. Well, if you have the wrong toner, it’s a waste of money and time. But if you have a specific toner that works best with your skin it can make all the difference in the world. As I’ve stated: I use two toners. Each toner has a specific purpose. My first toner is an acid based toner. The second is a hydrating based toner. Each have their different uses. Let’s start with the acid based toner.
Okay so when someone mentions to you that you should be using an acid, most people automatically think about skin peeling off your dead cadaver in the bathtub. Right? Haha, wrong! Acid is not just something that only misdirected men like Heisenberg use, it’s also for the day-to-day woman and man. Acid toners can be used to bring your skin’s ph balance up to snuff. This can help your serums sink into the skin better and get the best performance for you moisturizers. On top of that (my most favourite reason to use acid toners) it provides a chemical exfoliation. It allows for the dead skin cells to be removed off your face! Which helps with buildup which helps control your breakouts. Most importantly, it brightens up your skin. I swear to you, when I don’t use my acid toner, my skin turns a nice shade of grey.
Most toners can be put into this category. If glycerin is listed as one of the top ingredients on the ingredients list then you can use it after your acid toner. I like using this sort of toner because it sandwiches hydration between the serum. You get a hydration kick before your serum and you add hydration back in with your moisturizer. I also find that it helps with calming the skin a little. I personally like to spritz this form of toner on my skin so that it really sinks into the skin. If you really don’t see the point in doing this, then you can skip it. I personally just love the ritual of spritzing my face with a toner that makes my skin feel softer. It COULD be in my head but it could also not be in my head. I don’t want to risk or even think about removing this step in my ritual.
Now I use Pixi Glow Tonic and Pixi Hydrating Milky Mist. You can try these out but I warn you with the acid: start out slow. Start out using it once a week and slow increase it’s uses. If this doesn’t work seek out other acid based toners. Get samples! Just keep trying until you find the formula that works for you. I know of at least 10 different acid toners on the market that people can use. So don’t give up. In regards to a moisturizing toner, I also give the same advice. Find one that works. I would start out with the Pixi Hydrating Milky Mist: it’s gentle. Very gentle.
Last week I think I had the most important treatment I will ever have in my life (and continue to have because I am H-O-O-K-E-D). I had a reflexology treatment that focused on the feet! The treatment can be aligned with a pedicure which I haven’t had…yet, so I cannot speak to this but I am sure it would be heavenly (watch out for an Instagram update when I get a pedicure with the reflexology treatment). Regardless of pedicure or not the treatment was magical.
Reflexology is an ancient treatment that has been a popular procedure in the Eastern Hemisphere of our world. It has been documented in ancient Egyptians papyrus since 2500 B.C. Many cultures have been practicing reflexology for thousands of years. The practice was developed into Zone Therapy in Europe in the 14th Century. A version of Zone Therapy has even been practiced by Indigenous people in North America. A lot of cultures entrenched in wisdom have been using this form of therapy to heal the human body. It’s an alternative therapy that can help with pain management, depression, relaxation and even Cancer therapy.
The most important thing when it comes to reflexology/zone therapy is to go in with an open mind. I am grateful that I went to Sheryl Trimble who is currently working at Chizzle’d Fringe Salon. Not only does she have a beautiful room to practice in. She is also a person that can make a person feel instantly comfortable. She can read your mannerism within minutes of knowing you. In my personal opinion she is the best sort of person you want performing reflexology on you. And issn’t her room just so welcoming and chic?
The Procedure: You sit on the lovely seat and place the pillow beneath your legs. She sits in front of your feet and begins by relaxing them. She works on one foot at a time. She works all over your foot; at the same time she works many parts of your body. The first time I came to see her she worked extensively on my shoulders…through my feet! And I am not lying when I say, I can feel the work performed on my shoulders. It was the neatest sensation. She also spent some time working on my knees. I have bad knees and thanks to bootcamp, they aren’t ever in a state of greatness.
And that’s just the physical level. I will say that Sheryl and I do have a connection. We both appreciate each other’s wisdom and are constantly learning from each other. I think this is crucial when having a reflexology treatment. You need to have a mutual connection with the person giving you this treatment. I believe Sheryl is the kind of person that can give a person a connection since she is very open to people. On my last treatment she worked on a new spot on my foot. It had both physical implications (it was where my new sandals were bothering my feet) and where the matters of the heart lay connected. Needless to say, I confessed I was about to go on a first day where I was a complete ball of nerves over (it happens when you think a person is a damn fox and a sweetheart rolled into one). The confession lead for her to work the area even more and after the treatment I felt more confident. I mean, it could’ve been the confession itself but I do believe that the spot she worked on my foot also helped me just shift focus. It was a combination of the two. And I’ll say the treatment is amazing for mental health. Whether it’s just having the confidence to talk or if it is also the active pressure points stimulating parts of your body that normally would have never been stimulated.
Watch out for Sheryl’s upcoming business page on Facebook, in the mean time you can contact her through Chizzle’d Finge Salon. Go and book an appointment now!
Makeup is a tricky, tricky, tricky thing. There are so many options and it seems like they are all never-ending. Every month there is a new release. A new product that will just be the answer to your beauty concerns. Or a new colour that you just need to try on your face. It’s the trickster that fools us into thinking that its needed. On top of the overwhelming amount of products on the market, you always hear rumours on how one high end product is the exact same thing to a drugstore one. Likely when you look into it, low and behold, both products are similar to each other.
So why does this happen? Why do high end and low end products seem to have the same ingredients and perform the same way among the sea of products out there? And why is one product way more expensive than the other? I have my speculations.
The first thing to know when buying any makeup is that all makeup brands are owned by parent companies. A lot of companies are connected to each other. For example L’Oréal owns the following beauty companies:
and many, many more
So when this happens, they can all share their secrets, procedures and ingredients without any legal trouble. Take for example the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation and L’Oreal’s Pro-Glow Foundation. Both of them are owned by the parent company of L’Oreal. I’ve heard rumours that they both are the same thing but obviously one lives in a $50 glass bottle while the other lives in a $1 plastic container.
I’v decided to investigate if these two products are indeed the same or not.
The one thing that is a distinction between something like the Giorgio Armani foundation and the L’Oreal Pro-glow foundation (which have the similar ingredients) is the grade of their ingredients. Yes. Similar ingredients, different quality. That will always be a difference when one company uses a higher grade of ingredients, the performance will be different and there might be an allergic reaction. I’ve listed the ingredients of both products below:
Alright, so obviously the bolded ones are the same ingredients. About 30% are the same for both foundations. A lot of the ingredients are skin conditioners. But when I compared each of them Luminous Silk contained ingredients that were less concerning. Many ingredients listed came up with a low to moderate warning in both foundations, Pro-Glow had a little bit more warnings. Regardless it was a little concerning.
I just want to know to what degree we should be taking these warnings. If it’s been scientifically tested, then it should be reasonably safe? But then again, how regulated is the beauty industry? What laws are in place to protect consumers? These are questions that have come up while writing this post. And believe me, I will likely be spending some time looking into it and reporting back. So stay tuned as I cross-reference and read-up and just educate myself a little more on this topic.
Another thing I noticed was Pro-Glow has a lot of Dimethicon and derivatives of Dimethicone in it while Luminous Silk only has one ingredient derived from Dimethicon. This to me indicates that Luminous Silk has one ingredients that does the same thing that the many ingredients do for Pro-Glow. But that’s speculation. Again, I need to look more deeply into it since I want to discuss wear time and how it actually feels on the skin, I’ll have to leave it for another post (stay tuned).
Okay, so we’ve gone over ingredients, kinda. And although I don’t think I’ve proved that Luminous Silk is the higher grade of Pro-Glow, necessarily; I will say that scratching the surface of what makes up this foundation is frightening. On that alone, I would invest in Luminous Silk rather than continually just buy the Pro-Glow. But I also don’t believe in waste so I’ll continue to use it…with mixed feelings. Also, I feel like I need to state that I am speculating right now. Perhaps the ingredients have been deemed safeand their risks are a really low ratio. Low ratios are key since that’s how medicine becomes approved. Nothing is every 100% safe. At this point everything is food for thought.
HOW. DO. THEY. WEAR?
Both foundations I will admit feel the same and give off the same effect. The thing that most beauty bloggers/makeup artist/beauty guru will say about Luminous Silk is that the foundation sinks into your skin and creates a perfecting veil WHILE keeping the integrity of your skin. It doesn’t create a mask like effect like some high-coverage foundations might do. Instead it blurs out imperfection while still looking like your real skin. Does that make sense? The Pro-Glow does the same damn thing as Luminous Silk does. Just look for yourself:
I’ve been playing with both foundations for a couple weeks now and I’ll say this. They both wear beautifully. I have textured skin. Nothing will ever mask that and I don’t expect a foundation to mask it. What I do expect from a foundation is to even out my skin tone, minimize pores and cover-up imperfections. I have a couple of spots on my nose from an eczema patch, a cut and a raised area from my glasses that I need covered up. Can you see them? Barely. So this foundation does the trick in doing what I require a foundation to do.
Next, I need other products to go on them effortlessly. If a product doesn’t apply well it can be because of the foundation or the product itself. For this look, I used blush, bronzer and highlight that is of good quality and I know performs well. They all went on beautifully without getting patchy. I didn’t really powder much of my face in these photos because I wanted the foundation to speak for itself. Even without powdering my face other powdered products went on smoothly.
Wear time. This is where the foundation would likely require some powdering. I would say these foundations wears well for 6 hours without help from other products. For foundation, that’s amazing. I usually never touch up my face. By the time I go and wipe it off, it’s usually mostly all gone. But that’s with 100% of all of my foundations.
Overall, I do really like both foundations. I reach for them often. The ingredients worry me but all makeup products ingredients worry me. So stay tuned for further thoughts on this topic.
Have you read on how I remove my foundation in my last post? Click here to read up on my daily cleansers.
Okay so before I get into the meat of this post I want to state a word of caution: what may work for me, may not work for you. Skin care products are a fickle thing. They can improve your skin or really mess it up. Humans are all complex beings and no company will ever be able to cater to all of our needs. What someone swears by, may break-out another.
What I am about to describe are products that have worked really well for me. The one thing readers should take from this is post is the importance of an established routine. The skincare routine is everything. A well established one will leave your skin clear, bright and will help fight the signs of aging. The Bare bones routine includes: two cleansers (one to remove your makeup at night and one to really cleanse your skin in the morning and during the second cleanse), an acid toner, a moisturizing toner, serum (day/night or day and night), eye cream and a moisturizer. Yes….that’s a giant product list to add into a routine. And many of us are too tired by nightfall and simply don’t wanna. But my skin has never been clearer, brighter and well moisturized ever since the routine was implemented. And my skin has suffered through Acne. I swear by the routine.
I stand by my conviction of a double cleanse at night makes a happy and clear skinned criavolver. Let’s start at night since this is likely the most important routine you’ll need to establish. I start out with an oil to remove my makeup. The first oil based-cleanser I ever used was from the Body Shop. At that point I was using foaming cleansers still and had never had a cleanser leave my skin so soft. Mind blown, I became addicted to oil cleansers and I never turned back.
Erborian, Solid Cleansing Oil: This Korean solid cleansing oil is one of my favourite makeup removers. When it ran out on me, I scrapped the sides until I was basically touching plastic. It melts makeup off the skin like fire does to wax (let’s be real, if you have your full makeup on…that’s what our faces look like during this process, haha). This oil is so legit that it will remove that one “waterproof” mascara (I don’t wear waterproof mascara…this mascara isn’t suppose to be waterproof) that I own. None of my other makeup removers remove that mascara as “easily” as this one. (The mascara is a bitch to remove so it does require a little bit of extra elbow grease). The one little thing that sucks about this cleansing oil is that it stings a little if you get it in your eyes. I’ve used oils before that you can open your eyes mid-wash to make sure your toddler hasn’t stuck their hands in the toilet or something whacky like that. This on stings when you need to open those peepers. A quick rinse and the sting is gone though.
Ingredients: Coconut oil, Sunflower oil, tea tree, licorice, Japanese Knotweed, Skullcap, Rosemary, Chamomile and Centella Asiatica along with low-hazard emulsifying and cleansing agents. We all know that coconut oil and sunflower oil are bomb oils. Tea tree is the essential oil we all grew up using for clearer skin (thank-you body shop). Licorice root is great for anti-inflammatory purposes. Japanese knotweed is an anti-aging ingredient. Skullcap is another anti-inflammatory herb that also has calming benefits. Rosemary and Chamomile are both two calming agents. Centella Asiatica also has healing properties so it’s great for pigmentation. The cleanser is loaded with calming ingredients. Perfect for sensitive skin and amazing for removing your makeup. Love.
Side note: a lot of the herbs used in this product, if ingested, have really great benefits that I am thinking of experiment with in the near future.
Rodial, Stemcell Super-Food Cleanser: I knew I was going to love this cleanser the moment I opened the box. It came with a muslin wash-cloth. Although I don’t use muslin wash clothes (towel wash clothes all the way), I really appreciated the message they were laying down. Using a wash cloth to remove your cleansers is a great way to physically exfoliate your skin. It also helps control black heads (to a certain extend and if you have minimal black heads). Beyond the packaging and message the product itself is fantastic. It’s a beautiful cream cleanser that doesn’t strip your face of precious oils (we need them to keep our skin healthy). It removes any remaining makeup (if I’ve caked it on that day) and just cleanses and soothes the skin.
Ingredients: Marula Oil, PhytoCellTec Alp Rose Flower, Coconut Oil and Coco Butter along with other low-concerning ingredients that are used as skin conditioners and emollients. Marula oil is a powerful oil that comes from South Africa. It’s an oil that can help fight wrinkles, radicals and moisturize the skin. Since this cleanser can be used as a face mask, you can get the benefits of the marula oil it has to offer. The “stem cell” part of this cleanser comes from the PhytoCellTec Alp Rose flower which is an ingredient that is derived from wild Swiss flowers that grow in high altitudes. This ingredient is used to maintain skin cells and help fight off UV-stress. This is exactly the type of ingredient you want on your skin. Again, because you can leave it on your skin for a period of time, you get more of a benefit from it than just a regular cleanser.
Alright. I’ll stop gushing here and move on to Toners but in the next post! Until next time. Interested in more beauty and cannot wait until the next post? Click here for my last post on skincare products.
I cannot stress enough how important this gym has become to my life. So much so that if I cannot get there at least 4 times a week, I become a mess. Half-way through week three of the Girls Night Challenge (month 2.5 of being a Member), I noticed that the little knee pain I was experiencing a couple weeks back wasn’t getting better but worse. I took 3 days off and decided to hit the workouts at a moderate level.
I am mad at my body and it’s beginning to eat me alive.
I am upset that just as I begin to see results, I need to scale it back. This has caused a bit of a snowball effect where my anger is causing me to reach for a bag of chips or that I accept the cinnamon bun my mom offers me. The anger leads to disappointment which has left me in a state of depression. It isn’t a deep set-in depression were I can’t get out of, no. It’s just been a difficult couple of weeks because of the knee injury (and maybe a couple of other things). And I am writing this blog post to just talk about the highs and the lows of a health journey.
In just four weeks, I’ve learned some habits that I feel will last me a lifetime. My eating habits have gone from reaching for candy throughout the whole day to not even thinking about a sugar fix. It’s gone from spending all my money on eating out to saving a couple bucks because I am packing lunches. I’ve learned to appreciate a good homemade salad dressing, learned the art perfectly stemmed broccoli and grateful for that smoothie in the mornings. These habits have saved me. They have in general made me a happier person.
For the most part, my mind has felt clear and my body has been running like a well oil-machine. For the most part, I’ve been sleeping 8 hours a night. My mood has been mostly in a good place. But ever since my knee has started to bother me and I had to take some time off to recharge, I noticed the habits slowly turning back into old ones. Last week was the hardest week. I had to take time off work to really think things through and get in my head in order to finally get out of it. It was also last week that I finally clued in to why I had been feeling so negative. It was my knee (mostly).
Upon returning to the gym, I decided to modify certain workouts. Take a break from most jump movements and ask for modifications on other things. The coaches have been very good at giving pointers, even members/friends have reached out and helped in getting my knee to where it needs to be. I know it’s going to be a journey to get back to pain-free but here I am, still working out, putting down the chip bag and emailing the physio-therapist.
It’s the beginning of a new week and we have two weeks left in this challenge. I am ready to tackle it. With a clear mind and a determination to finish strong. These last two weeks, I won’t be cheating (except for Saturday night when I have scheduled two back-to-back family parties). We will see how I do.
This post is in collaboration with my friend and former makeup addicted colleague Steph.Chantel Beauty. We met up one day and decided to tackle this subject together. You can go check out her post here.
I was a eating a bagel and drinking coffee with lots of cream and some sugar. I saw my pink lipstick leave a stain on my coffee cup and it honestly gave me so much joy to see that shade of pink. It’s so unnatural and pretty. As a lipstick wearer, I love seeing my lip mark on every cup I touch. On the day that I began writing this blog post, it was the first time in a week that I had gone all out on my makeup. I used some new eyeshadows and just had FUN. But as I went through my routine of: primer, foundation, highlighting and contouring, in my mind; I couldn’t help but think of my search to ultimately have a perfect face. Immediately that love for the pink stain vanished and it was replaced with guilt.
I don’t want to get all bummer-like or theoretical because 1. I don’t have the capacity to be theoretical and 2. I don’t want to come across as preachy and a party pooper. I just want to talk from the heart. I want to express a nagging feeling I have every time I look for a primer, go to a wax appointment or search out the skin treatment that will give me that fresh baby skin that I so desperately want. (Okay maybe I am going to get a little dark, so brace yourself.)
The feeling isn’t always present, especially not when on the hunt or at checkout, the feeling comes after I’ve long applied the makeup, maybe when I post a selfie and likely when I watch Keeping Up with the Kardashians. It’s the feeling that I am not doing enough. It will never be enough. The pores on my skin will always stick out like craters. The hair on my chin will always sprout back (unless I invest in laser treatment..) or my hair will always need loads of effort to make it into smooth, perfect curl. And it’s bullshit.
Deep down, I know: I am supporting an industry that wants to mold me into the ideal beauty. That in order to be considered beautiful I need to fix everything on my face, body, hair. In order to be considered one of the beauties: I need to fit into a box. And to a certain extent, it’s true. Our society still has a perception of beauty that is out-of-reach and EXPENSIVE.
And I don’t want to say: it’s all for nothing. This is where my mix-feelings come from because I want to be beautiful. I am vain. I am human. With that comes the feeling of wanting to be accepted. On top of that, I fucking love beauty. I love the innovation some brands have done with products. I love the way we can play with colour on our face. I love that liquid eyeliner is something some of us want to conquer and perfect. I love the science behind it. I love the inspiration of it. And I do love idolizing beauty, so much that it hurts. What holds us back is seeing beauty in a narrow perspective.
For a minute I want to just blame myself because it’s easier. But that doesn’t answer the why I feel this. It doesn’t address the fact that there is a certain type of beauty that still dominates our Instagram feeds, magazine covers and basically all of our screens: cell phone, tv, film. S/he’s fair skinned, s/he’s fair haired, s/he’s likely of European decent and s/he’s a wealthy, a perfect beauty.
I think trying to understand the why is a complicated topic. I’ve only scratched the surface on this topic. There is so much that I don’t even know where to start. I started with a personal feeling. What I experience on the daily. What we see on social media, the perfection-reel, the ideal can be toxic. It isn’t real. It isn’t our daily. That is why, I will never photoshop a makeup beauty photo. I may change some lighting on a photography but I would never airbrush my pores (although I really want to) or make myself appear skinner. I want to be as natural, authentic and ruthlessly myself.
We are all beautiful. If we want to be. And I don’t mean you need to be trimmed and primed 24/7 or ever. I mean, you need to be authentically beautiful. The most beautiful and inspiring people in the world are those who are unforgivably and ruthlessly themselves. We need to constantly be working on ourselves. We do need to strive for our very best. All in a healthy and gentle manner.
With that, I’ll leave you with the beauties that keep me real every fucking day of my life.
I’ve been struggling with writing the GNO blog now that I’ve settled into the meal plan routine. I’ve gotten bored with reporting back to everyone the meal plan. I am finding that if I am organized: I stay on plan. If I am at work: I stay on plan. If I am at home: I’ll snack here and there with kinda on plan snacks. Instead of recapping what I had to eat the last few days, I kinda want to talk about where my head is at but more importantly how I am doing emotionally.
We live in a society where we are bombarded with DIET CULTURE where we are mostly being told to control what we eat. Stop eating this, it’s bad! Don’t drink this shit, it’s bad! On top of that we are now at the peak of fitness culture. So naturally, I’ve gravitated towards wanting to eat healthier and loose my extra weight.
I’ve been a student for the last couple of years where I’ve had access to a gym. I’ve been using it for a year now but haven’t seen any improvements. This is where Fitbody Bootcamp comes in and basically saves the day. What I love, loooooove about this gym is the approach they take with nutrition. Food is 80% responsible for our weight loss journey. For me that’s been a hard pill to swallow. I love pizza. I love Chinese takeout. I love nachos. Thankfully it all hasn’t been taken away. Yes, currently they are a treat but these sorts of foods SHOULD be a treat.
When I first joined, I started doing nutrition consultations with one of the coaches. We talked about what I usually ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We talked about snacks too. For me, my trouble areas were lunch and snacks. I had a tendency of eating out for lunch and snacked on candy throughout the day. I’ll be honest, I didn’t quite stick to my goals. It wasn’t until I entered this challenge that somethings just clicked and I just committed to the journey.
I think finally committing to this journey is key. Motivation falters. But if you’re truly committed to this then you can overcome whatever fails you. I am not going to lie: the food has been really yummy. I’ve basically been eating smoothies for breakfast, protein with veggies for lunch and dinner and nuts and fruit for snacks. But the flavour profiles I am mixing and matching on a daily basis is what is keeping me on track. On top of that being realistic on how slow this process can be is also helping me. To be honest, I am not looking at this as a way to loose the most weight in a very short time period. I am using this challenge to break some habits and learn new ones.
With a clear mind, a stronger body and a happy state I want to go forward with my health journey. I feel like this is just the beginning and I am finding myself exploring new blogs, podcasts and books on topics like nutrition, diet culture and just finding new exciting recipes without the sugar and overly processed carbs. And I want to share that all on the blog. So enjoy the Health Files.
I hope you’re all enjoying your Easter Weekend as well!