Remember when I was a blogger? And then I had a baby. And then my blog, and my cat, got ignored. All you mom-blogger types, I’m not sure how you do it. I no longer do approximately 97 of the things I used to love to do.
Nevertheless, here I am again.
While the rumours are true and pregnancy can, in fact, do wondrous things for your skin, having a baby does the opposite. You are the most tiredest you’ve ever been and people like to remind you of how awful you look.
Now that my baby naps in places that aren’t my arms, I have a tiny window to make myself feel pretty. And I smear my most glowy products on my face in hopes that I look a little less exhausted than I feel.
Behold, my can’t-live-without products.
[Clockwise from top left: Hourlgass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light, Bobbi Brown Shimmerbrick in Pink Quartz, Benefit High Beam, Laura Mercier Foundation Primer in Radiance, Arbonne Intelligence CC Cream, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla.]
I don’t use the primer like a regular person. I mix with the CC Cream in my hand and smear it on like a moisturizer, being careful to avoid lips and eyebrows. The primer makes your regular makeup just a smidge dewier. I use a regular blush (I have quite a selection) and depending on my mood, the Shimerbrick or High Beam on my cheek bones makes me feel a little less dull. If you’re looking for the BEST concealer, just get the NARS one. Just get it. I’ve tried them all. And the Hourglass powder just makes me feel pretty. I’m not sure you’re supposed to use it all over your face but I do anyway. I like to break the rules like that.
What say you? Did I fool you into thinking I got a full night of sleep? Sneaky, me.
It’s like I always say. Just because it’s minus eighty bazillion out, doesn’t mean you can’t wear lipstick.
Disclaimer: I don’t actually say that.
And minus eighty bazillion means all the lip balms and all the hand creams must be nearby at all times. Most women are well versed in this. And even some men. My fella included. He feels naked without lip balm in his pocket, he says.
I have a few favourite balms and a couple of suggestions for wearing colour on even the harshest of winter days.
It’s really hard to narrow down my top three balms, but these represent three different types of formula I usually stick to.
Maybelline Baby Lips in Quench feels like a beeswaxy type formula, so it really stays on if you were to go skiing, say, while the Organic Peppermint Lip Oil from Pure and Simple is exactly that and Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1 is a buttery, more emollient formula.
I also love the Caudalie Lip Conditioner (contains shea butter and falls under the more waxy category) and Burt’s Bees Ultra Conditioning Lip Balm with Kokum Butter (which is more buttery and less waxy).
So. Now that you have a plethora of balms to choose from and keep your lips moisturized at all times, you also need a lip scrub to scrub away peely lip bits.
Yes. You really do need this.
I have long been a fan of LUSH Bubble Gum Lip Scrub (you can eat it!) but you need to smear your favourite lip balm on before you use it to combine the moisturizing with the scrubbing. A dollop of Vaseline also works. This almond lip scrub from Beauty Treats (available at Trade Secrets) sort of has the moisturizing agent built in. But you can’t eat it. So, there’s that.
I also use the edge of a wet wash cloth to wipe my lips when I wash my face. Once upon a time when Sassy Magazine was still around, the beauty editors suggested scrubbing your lips with a toothbrush. But have you ever tried that? It’s not pleasant.
You could also spend $62 on the Bliss Pout-O-Matic if you so desire. It’s a spinning rubbery nub that comes with a vanilla-scented scrub and is available this month at Sephora. Report back if you buy it.
Once you’re sufficiently exfoliated, you’ll want to avoid the matte lipsticks and go for the more emollient ones in times of sheer freezingness. A tinted lip balm, per se.
From left to right: Korres Mango Butter Lipstick in Fucshia, Maybelline Color Elixir by ColorSensational in Signature Scarlet and Sonia Kashuk Moisture Luxed Tinted Lip Balm in Hint of Berry (available only at Target).
The Korres lipstick of course contains mango butter (obvi) to keeps lips moisturized, but it also stays put. It also contains beeswax and almond oil.
Color Elixir is one of the newest products from Maybelline and it has a real smoothing effect when you apply it. Maybelline call is an”Ultra Cushiony Feel.” Not sticky or tacky like some other glosses that promise high shine.
And the Sonia Kashuk lip balm has the most sheer colour of the trio if that’s what you’re into. The safflower oil and acai oil keep lips moisturized but the colour does fad rather quickly so multiple applications are probably necessary. It also contains SPF 15.
What are your tricks or favourite lip balms to keep lips protected from the winter-y elements?
I own an obscene amount of lipsticks. To be fair, it’s an equal balance of drugstore lipsticks and fancy lipsticks. This post, however, is about the latter.
Sephora launched a Make Up For Ever Ultimate Long Lasting lip set for the holidays (it’s now on sale for $118. In includes six lipsticks) that a couple of my beauty blogger pals splurged on. Being the sleuth that I am, I deciphered that fuchsia #16C was clearly the winner so I went and bought just the one solo lippie.
I’ve tried a lot of longwear lipsticks and this formula is by far the best. This is me after I had a coffee, yogurt and a piece of toast. Whaaaaa?
Make Up For Ever Aqua Rouge is a bit different from other longwear lipsticks because you can choose to wear it matte or shiny. I KNOW. Check it out.
One side is the colour and the other side is the gloss. The saturated colour sets pretty quickly, so if you wait a minute to apply the gloss, you don’t even get any pink on the clear gloss brush. It’s like the cement of lipstick.
That being said, the cement of lipstick doesn’t come off so easily. I scrubbed my lips with a wet washcloth before yoga class because I didn’t want to be THAT girl in class. The one in full makeup. I couldn’t quite get all of it off, and it sort of smeared a pinkish hue around my mouth. So, instead, I was the girl in glass with the strange mouth rash.
As much as we hate to admit it, winter is on its way.
This is a bit concerning for a few reasons. One, winter is cold and dark and miserable. And two, on a more personal note, it means this baby is coming very soon. Yikes. February 14 is pretty much right around the corner from Christmas.
Even if I’m not nearly prepared for baby, at least I have a handle on my skin. The upcoming dry months mean moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. And I put together a few of my favourite things (unfortunately not in a brown paper package tied up with string) to help you take your skin from parched to pretty.
You may have read about oil cleansers and how they’re all the rage. Well, I certainly got sucked into the trend and I’m very happy I did. Some of my favourite beauty bloggers rave about Shu Uemura’s Utlime8 Beauty Cleansing Oil and now I know why. For one, it smells like a spa and secondly it leaves your face feeling clean and fresh but without that tight feeling that some lathering cleansers leave behind.
Remember the show Street Cents? If you grew up in Canada in the eighties then you surely do. I was an intern there for a little while, and it was revealed to me that some skincare companies put a lathering agent in their products just to make you feel “cleaner.”
With that in mind, you don’t really *need* a lathering cleanser to do the job. I use this every night, sometimes combined with my Clarisonic MIA. Although the Shu Uemura cleansing oil carries a hefty price tag, after a few weeks of this routine, I can quite confidently say that my skin has become a lot glowier and much less dull.
After I pat my face dry I follow up with a few spritzes of thermal water and then immediately pat dry again. It makes my skin feel like I just stepped off the plane in the Caribbean and the humidity hits you like a delightful ton of bricks. Despite the Huffington Post claiming it’s a useless beauty product, it’s become a staple for me.
I started including this in my routine after a beauty editor friend suggested it was helpful for dehydrated skin, which I’m pretty much always told I have when I get a facial. There are a few brands out there but I’m loyal to Avene Thermal Spring Water. I also often carry a mini bottle when travelling, because we all know airplanes suck the moisture out of everything. I mean, until you get to the Caribbean, of course.
A girlfriend of mine, who had a baby girl last December, would tell me that her skin was so dry in late pregnancy, that she’d use body butter on her face. I gasped in horror. And sent her a list of my favourite serums immediately. The one that tops my list is Pure and Simple Collagen Elastin Plus. The site claims it’s a “super-hydrating” serum and is also suitable for sensitive skin. It also claims to give you a healthy glow due to better skin circulation. There are no perfumes or scary ingredients, much like the whole lot of Pure and Simple products. This product has a very water-y texture and I usually use two pumps and tap it into my skin. Love it. It gets a special place on my bathroom counter.
In the depths of winter, a regular moisturizer just doesn’t cut it. For night time, it’s a facial oil all the way. I have a rotation but one of my favourites is Midnight Recovery Concentrate from Kiehl’s. I tend to use more than they suggest (3-4 drops) and just smear it all over my face and neck. It comes in a handy eye dropper bottle, absorbs easily (you won’t leave grease marks on your pillow) and my skin is visibly soft in the morning.
A great alternative to the serum/oil step is Dot & Lil’s Facial Serum. It kind of does the job of both. This small business out of Montreal makes homemade bath and beauty products and their serum is very moisturizing, filled with all kinds of good-for-you oils, such as sweet almond and rosehip seed, and a very mild and pleasant scent. I’ve also used it on my lips, which owner Anne says is totally allowed.
I’ve recently become obsessed with face masks. I’m convinced that a good face mask a few times a week can make a huge difference in skin tone and overall quality. The DHE mask from Consonant is a great option because of its exfoliating properties. Another essential process to guard against dry, flaky skin. And how’s this for impressive, it’s made from mineral-rich Manicouagan Clay, extracted from the site of a 215 million year old asteroid crash in Quebec. Whaaaaa? It’s also got alpha-hydroxy fruit enzymes that gently exfoliate skin, without stripping away the natural oils. Again, the first ingredient is water. Are you noticing a trend yet?
Also, this mask smells like a Finnish sauna. Just sayin’.
What are your winter skin tricks and must-haves?
I mean, really.
I’m not sure what else to say about this Starbucks tumbler because it’s just too much. In the way that snoring kitten videos are too much.
Stacey Bendet, the designer behind alice & olivia, teamed up with Starbucks to create this flirty little travel mug, in her signature black and white palette, for your pumpkin spice latte or whatever other beverage you’re currently enjoying at the famous coffee chain.
If you need a super cute gift for the coffee lover in your life, this would probably be a big hit. It’s available online in the Starbucks Store and yes, the tutu is removable.
I’m pretty good at leaving hints. So good, in fact, I email the BF constantly with “if you want to buy me a present” links to various things I’m coveting. He never responds to those emails.
But once in a while, he surprises me by mentioning the item a few weeks or months later. Turns out, he DOES read those emails. Sneaky little guy.
In the case of a ring I couldn’t stop obsessing about online, when he had a bit of extra cash, he gave me the green light to go ahead and buy it for myself. Pretty swell, eh?
Victoria Jarman is in the UK and she makes beautiful jewelry. On the plus side, she answered all my questions almost immediately and even provided me with extra photos to help make the final decision. My white gold and diamond ring was made to order, which makes it even more special. And thankfully, it still fits on my pregnant ring finger. Um. My right ring finger, of course.
I have a bit of a mug problem. I just really like them.
And the Perfect Mug from David’s Tea hasn’t escaped my obsession. When I go over to friend’s places and they serve tea in these same mugs, I always get a pang of jealousy.
I had a whirlwind trip to Montreal last week to take care of some paperwork following the sale of my condo, so I nipped in to David’s Tea to pick up a few supplies. (We don’t have a David’s Tea in Hamilton. Oh, the horror.)
I left with two of these fall-like mugs, along with a selection of teas. All of the Perfect Mugs come with a metal tea infuser, and a lid which also doubles as the infuser holder when your beverage has reached your desired steeping time.
And, as an added bonus, this particular leaf design changes colours when you add hot water. The black outlines turn yellow and orange. So. Fun. Sort of like one of those novelty mugs where the lady’s clothes come up when it heats up, except less stupid.
Here’s some more fun news; my friend Eve is giving away one of these mugs plus a sampling of the fall tea collection (I’ve already tried the Pumpkin Chai – so delish) from David’s Tea. Head on over to her new blog, Tellement Swell for all the details. You have until Friday to enter.