Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Powder Before Foundation Makeup Technique | Step-by-Step Guide

If you’ve been on TikTok recently you may have seen tutorials of people applying setting powder before foundation. This trend is making a strong comeback and there is much debate on social media about who started it. Jackie Aina and a few other artists have been using this technique for years but for some reason I totally missed it.

Applying translucent powder before foundation is supposed to prolong makeup, minimize pores and prevent creasing, streaks and smears so your skin looks flawless all day.

Step 1:
Start by washing and drying your face so you have a fresh canvass to work on.

Apply serum and moisturizer on clean skin and let it absorb while doing your brows. Currently I am using Biotherm’s Life Plankton Elixir ($90.00) and I rotate between Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream ($38.00), It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream ($62.00) and Kiehl's Multi-Action Cream SPF 30 ($85.00).


Makeup Tip: Many tutorials will instruct you to apply eyeshadow first but don’t. It is much easier to clean up fallout on bare skin and you won’t mess up your foundation. Always use a good base to prolong wear and enhance vibrancy. Currently I am using the NYX Pigment Primer ($9.00) and Glitter Primer ($8.00) to keep my shadow in place and prevent lid to crease transfer.


Step 2:
Apply face primer to smooth skin texture, blur pores and camouflage imperfections. Urban Decay’s Longwear Foundation Grip ($42.00) goes on sheer, lightweight and hydrating with a supple finish that bonds makeup to skin for less transfer and smudging. I love the way it corrects and creates a silky, even surface.

I usually let the primer set for a minute or two before moving onto the next step.


Step 3:
Instead of applying foundation like you normally would, use loose translucent powder. My favorite is Make Up For Ever’s Ultra HD ($48.00) because it smooths, blurs and perfects like no other.


Pat the powder on lightly and focus on your t-zone to reduce shine and create a natural finish. If you use too much your face might end up looking cakey or grey, especially in flash photography.

Step 4:
Apply foundation. I am currently using NYX Born To Glow ($14.00) with the original Beauty Blender. A few of my favorite liquid formulas include: MAC Studio Fix Fluid ($36.00), Make Up For Ever Matte Velvet Skin ($50.00), Stila Hide and Chic Fluid Foundation ($51.00) and It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream Oil Free Matte with SPF 40 ($52.00).


Since the translucent powder absorbs oil and minimizes pores, you may notice that your skin appears matte, smooth and even. I didn’t have to use as much foundation and the finish was flawless!


Step 5:
Apply concealer if necessary. My favorites are: Rodial Heavy Duty Foundation Paste ($45.00), MAC Prolongwear Concealer ($29.99), NYX Can't Stop Won't Stop Contour Concealer ($12.00) and Vasanti Liquid VO2 Color Correcting Concealer ($27.00).


Step 6:
Apply blush and bronzer/contour if you like and set foundation with a light dusting of powder. Don’t overdo it or you might look cakey.

My favorite is MAC’s Studio Fix Prolongwear Powder in NC 45 ($36.00). It is the same shade as my MAC foundation and provides light to medium coverage.

Step 7:
Apply highlighter and mist with setting spray.

For oily skin I recommend Urban Decay’s All Nighter Ultra Matte Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray ($45.00) with temperature control technology. This stuff sucks up excess oil like a sponge and holds foundation in place for up to 16 hours with no stickiness or shine.


The spray tends to leave a few droplets on my skin so sometimes I mist it on a flat powder brush and pat it on evenly. Make sure to focus on your t-zone where oil tends to accumulate.

If you have normal, combination or dry skin, try the original All Nighter Spray. It prevents fading, cracking and creasing without the ultra matte finish.

Results:
I love how even and clear my skin looks using this method. My pores seem invisible and my foundation looks seamless and fresh all day!  

Monday, March 23, 2020

21 of The Best Netflix Series to Binge Watch if You’re Stuck at Home

These days life seems like a scary apocalypse movie. The COVID-19 pandemic has left many of us scrambling for toilet paper, non-perishable food and hand sanitizer but amidst the chaos it is important to remain calm, self-isolate and practice proper hygiene.

Hopefully life as we know will resume shortly but in the meantime those of us in lockdown need to be entertained so we don’t go crazy and start talking to the plants.

To help pass the time I’ve listed 21 of my favorite Netflix series that are great for binge-watching in your pyjamas.


Grab a snack from your COVID rations (if you haven’t finished them), whip up a delicious cocktail (don’t be stingy with the vodka) and let’s begin.

1. The 100
I don’t know why this show isn’t more popular because it kept me entertained for months. I love high-paced, action packed, end-of-days, futuristic stories and this series has everything! Suspense, adventure, war, treachery, betrayal, spaceships, artificial intelligence and so much more! There are 6 seasons (which should keep you busy) and the last season might be released this fall (fingers crossed).

2. Stranger Things – Because who doesn’t love a good alien invasion from a parallel dimension.

3. Outlander – Passionate love story about time travel set in the 1700’s and 1940’s.

4. The Umbrella Academy – If you enjoy tales about misfit superheroes trying to save the world this show is quite good. 

5. The Witcher – This popular sci-fi series might not make sense right away but give it time. The story comes together at the end and there is no shortage of scary monsters for Geralt to hunt.

6. Sabrina – A dark twist on the beloved teenage witch series.

7. Once Upon a Time – Grab some popcorn and watch your favorite fairytale characters come to life.

8. YOU – When it comes to manipulation, charm and persistent stalking, nobody does it better than Joe Golberg. This show is extremely creepy but oddly captivating.

9. Orange is the New Black – Women in prison...need I say more?

10. Hemlock Grove –  A sinister vampire vs. werewolf story with good special effects. Too bad the show wasn’t renewed for more seasons.

11. Dracula (mini series) – Dark, scary and well executed. There are only 3 episodes but this version is eerily realistic and skillfully directed.

12. Sex Education – A raunchy teen show about surviving high school with the help of unconventional sex counselling.

13. Carmen San Diego (animated series) – Join Carmen on her crime fighting trek around the world and learn a few interesting facts along the way.

14. 72 Dangerous Animals of Asia (if you like nature documentaries that make your skin crawl).

15. Marlon – Hilarious family sitcom sprinkled with a heavy helping of slapstick comedy.

16. The I-Land - A group of strangers wake up on a deserted island with no memory of who they are. Nothing is what it seems.

17. Breaking Bad – The story of a meek high school teacher turn drug dealer battling terminal cancer.

18. This Is Us – An emotional drama that follows the lives of 3 siblings. Grab a tissue and get ready to cry your eyeballs out.

19. Big Mouth (animated series) – A raunchy adult comedy that pokes fun at puberty.

20. Jane The Virgin – A comedic drama about a young woman who is artificially inseminated by accident.

21. Fuller House - If you grew up watching the Tanner family you'll love this funny, heartfelt sitcom.

Popular series that didn’t quite make the list

I omitted Riverdale because I only liked the first 3 seasons. After that things got weird, boring and downright stupid.

Another series that I hesitated to include is 13 Reasons Why. The show highlights important issues like teen suicide and bullying but the second season was unnecessary and the controversial content is not for everyone.

Love is Blind is one of the most popular reality shows on Netflix right now. I didn’t include it because reality TV is not really my thing and the entire "experiment" (if you can call it that) is flawed. I did watch the first season to see what all the hype is about but I fast forwarded to avoid the repetitive conversations and forced drama. If you like the Bachelor you'll probably find this entertaining.

There are many great shows on Netflix but these are the series I’ve enjoyed.

What should I watch next? Message me on twitter and share your suggestions - @EricaChristinaD

Thursday, March 19, 2020

L’Occitane Limited-Edition OMY Skincare

This winter L’Occitane kept my family’s skin soft, hydrated and healthy. When it comes to high-quality ingredients, luxurious scents and nourishing formulas – nobody does it better.


Recently the brand has teamed up with OMY – a French company that designs joyful graphic art. Together they’ve decorated our favorite L’Occitane products in fun coloring book drawings.

The OMY Manicure Set ($79.00) saved my hands this winter. It comes with Shea Butter Hand Cream, One-Minute Hand Scrub, Cuticle Oil and two permanent markers to customize the packaging.


The Hand Cream with 20% shea is a bestseller worldwide. I keep one in my purse, another on my beside table and my husband has one at work. The rich moisturizing treatment repairs cracked, peeling, rough skin including flaky areas between your fingers. It melts into all the grooves and lines between your joints and instantly relives dryness with no greasiness. 

The limited-edition travel-friendly tube (30 ml) with 5% shea is available for $12.00. It has a soft violet scent – very feminine and elegant. The larger size (150 ml) is also sold separately for $34.00.


My husband loves L’Occitane’s Hand Scrub because it softens, smooths and buffs away hard calluses. Frequent hand washing and alcohol based sanitizer can be very drying so we keep a tube of each (scrub and cream) on the bathroom counter, especially during cold and flu season. Squeeze a dollop of scrub on dry skin, massage thoroughly, wash with hydrating hand soap and apply the cream generously.

Cuticle Oil is highly underrated but when used regularly it strengthens the nail bed to promote growth and prevent brittleness. This repairing formula is infused with sweet almond oil, grape seed oil, shea butter, castor oil and apricot oil to soften and heal damaged cuticles. You can also apply the treatment on top of nail polish to maintain its flexibility and prevent chipping. The little brush delivers a generous coating to help nails recover from manicures and yellowing.


The Limited-Edition Shea Butter Ultra Light Body Cream ($50.00) smells amazing! Although I prefer the Ultra Rich formula for winter, this one has a fluffy whipped texture that absorbs quickly and quenches dehydrated skin. Use it morning and night as part of your daily routine to combat dryness, flaking and tightness. There is no greasiness or residue.


The OMY Collection also includes the Shea Butter Milk Extra-Gentle Soap ($9.00). 

These products are available at L’Occitane Boutiques and loccitane.com.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

NEW Catrice Bae Eyeshadow Palettes | Review and Swatches

If you’ve been to Shoppers Drug Mart recently you may have noticed the Catrice kiosk in the beauty section. This trendy German brand offers a beautiful selection of makeup for all complexions at affordable prices. The quality is excellent and I’ve discovered a wonderful array of matte lipstick, setting spray, blush, highlighter and primer.

When it’s time to get glamed-up for the Gram, beautiful eye shadow is a must and Catrice just released 3 new Bae Palettes to help you get those likes. 


Each compact contains 12 highly pigmented shades with matte and metallic finishes. Own your girl boss status, channel your inner baddie and embrace your basic self – there is something for every occasion.


Let’s start with my personal fave – Badass Bae. These sultry hues remind me of autumn and pumpkin spice season. I love the range of vivid orange mixed with red and brown undertones. They look gorgeous with the coppery pink and shimmery gold. I didn't need another beige (#clapback) but the versatility is great for crease sculpting, highlighting and lid definition.


The shimmers are soft, velvety and smooth for effortless application while the mattes are creamy and saturated for seamless blending. There is minimal fallout, no creasing and the color payoff is good.

Self-Made Bae was the first palette I used because the brown-burgundy and plum shades are irresistible! The shadows are buttery and rich - perfect for contouring and accentuating. If you like deep bronze, pink and purple tones this could be your new go-to for simple everyday looks. The color scheme is cool and neutral with subtle pops of gold and champagne.


Basic Bae has a nice range of office appropriate nudes. These aren’t my favorite colors (I prefer bright hues and jewel tones) but they compliment many other shadows in my collection. Think of them as supporting shades – perfect for creating a neutral base, blending and transitioning. For a sexier look use black liquid liner to draw a bold wing and apply vibrant lipstick.  



Catrice is available at Shoppers Drug Mart and beauty.shoppersdrugmart.ca.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Avon x The Face Shop | Korean Skincare

Most Avon lovers have at least one Skin So Soft or Anew product on their vanity. These classic collections have been bestsellers for years but new trends emerge everyday and Korean Beauty has become very popular.

Avon has recently teamed up with The Face Shop to offer a great selection of luxurious skincare and cutting-edge treatments that rejuvenate the complexion. Today I’m highlighting a few of my favorite products.


The Mango Seed range is formulated to energize and deeply nourish with a blend of carrot root, hyaluronic acid, shea, sunflower oil and ceramide.

You'll love the dense, paraben-free Moisturizing Butter ($45.00). It softens, plumps and smooths so skin appears radiant and revitalized all winter. 


Layer the cream with Mango Seed Oil ($45.00) to protect skin from harsh weather, UV damage and pollution. The lightweight formula is fast absorbing, hydrating and non-greasy – perfect for a replenishing night treatment.


If you prefer something less dense and more refreshing, try the Dr. Belmeur Collection. The Advanced Cica Hydro Cream ($55.00) instantly soothes, cools,moisturizes, strengthens and protects stressed, irritated skin with a healing blend of ceramides, fruit extract, flower oil and hyaluronic acid. It feels great under makeup and I love the citrus floral scent.


The Cica Peptite Ampoule ($53.00) is a concentrated blend of peptides that revive and repair dull sensitive skin. When used frequently it may also firm, lift, smooth and promote elasticity to maintain youthfulness. Both products have a renewing water based formula that is light enough for daytime use. 

If you need a surge of moisture Belif offers two skin renewing textures. The True Cream Aqua Bomb ($50.00) is a refreshing weightless gel that increases hydration up to 70%. Formulated with a unique blend of herbs and antioxidants, it also rejuvenates normal/oily/combination skin while minimizing pores.


The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb ($50.00) creates a supple, lightweight veil that quenches dehydrated skin for up to 26 hours. The ingredient list has an impressive variety of extracts and oils including: macadamia, oat, calendula, raspberry, chickweed, rose, clover, willow bark, orange peel, rosemary, lime, mistletoe and much more. With repeated use skin feels silky, plump and healthy with a natural glow.

After applying serum and cream, pamper your skin with Avon's Eclat D’or Youth Activating Massager ($60.00). This simple yet effective tool is easier to use than traditional face rollers because the chrome balls are positioned to manoeuvre around the cheekbones, jawline, neck and d├ęcolletage with ease. The gentle kneading motion helps tighten, lift and stimulate circulation while promoting the absorption of skincare products.


These collections are now available at avon.ca

Friday, March 6, 2020

Anastasia Beverly Hills X Jackie Aina Eyeshadow Palette | Review and Swatches

I did it guys! I actually bought an eyeshadow palette. As an Editor and Blogger who reviews and markets beauty products I don’t have to buy makeup.

The last palette I purchased (before my blog became lucrative) was at a Sephora in Las Vegas over 7 years ago. Since then I’ve been working with over 350 amazing brands and traveling the world. 

When the Limited-Edition Jackie Aina Palette went on sale for $42.00 (down from $60.00) I decided to see what all the hype was about. It quickly became a bestseller at Sephora with a 5 star rating.


Jackie formulated each shadow and undertone to compliment medium, olive, tan, golden and deep complexions so women of color have a gorgeous selection of skin enhancing pigments to work with. They also look amazing on fair complexions.


The closest dupe to ABH eyeshadow (in terms of shade selection, formula and popularity) is probably Huda Beauty but after testing the Dessert Dusk Palette ($85.00) I think ABH pigments are better quality. Huda’s mattes in this palette are bit dry and the shimmers are a tad flaky. The color scheme is similar but I expected more. 


The shades that caught my eye in this palette are Wiggalese (pink coppery garnet), Zam (bright foil gold), Pinker (deep pink-purple) and the sultry purples. These particular colors are vibrant, versatile and bold so I use them all the time. I really hope Jackie releases Wiggalese as a single shadow because I’m obsessed!


The matte hues are rich, buttery and ultra smooth with no ashiness. They blend effortlessly and fade beautifully so you get amazing contrast and definition. The shimmers are fantastic too. They glide on highly pigmented, velvety and dramatic with minimal fallout and impressive vibrancy. You don’t have to layer heavily and there is no creasing or fading.


A good base is recommended to keep the metallic hues in place and prolong wear but primer isn’t really necessary to showcase the incredible saturation. Most of the shadows apply full-coverage in a single swipe whether you use a brush or simply pat them on with your finger.

I love the pink and purple undertones but I wish there was a matte burgundy or deep brick red to tie everything together. Although Jackie worked hard to perfect the shimmery purple, I prefer something a bit brighter - the violet version of Wiggalese perhaps, maybe a royal purple with less silver.

The inclusion of Supreme (bright pink) was Norvina's suggestion and although I like the color, a deep dusty rose might have been a better choice.

I'd also replaced Dwollahs with something more unique (since the other gold is nicer) and I'm not crazy about Trust Issues. The icy white shows up as a pretty lime green-gold but it isn't a shade I wear frequently. 

I have a lot of great palettes in my collection but when it comes to color payoff, longevity and texture, Jackie’s formula with ABH takes the cake. This is the compact I will be traveling with to create stunning looks for all occasions and I'm pretty sure it will become your favorite too. 

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Color and Hyper Matte Lip Mousse | Review and Swatches

It may not feel like it right now but spring is right around the corner and soon it will be time for soft makeup and bright lipstick.

Revlon has a great selection of trendy pigments to choose from so today I'm featuring a few of my favorite new shades.


There are actually two collections of matte liquid lipstick that differ in texture, color payoff and consistency. The Ultra HD Matte Color looks like lip lacquer with a shiny vinyl finish that takes a while to dry. Despite gradual transfer it holds up well and the stain is quite pretty.

If you prefer creamy formulas, the Matte Lip Mousse is soft, shine-free, lightweight, buttery and buildable but it may take two layers to achieve consistent coverage. Once dry the color usually stays put for a few hours with no dryness or flaking.


I prefer the regular Matte HD formula because application is easier and it doesn’t slide around as much as the mousse. It also shows up better on medium to deep colored lips.

No matter what finish you choose there are trendy hues for all occasions including deep red, bright pink, coral, neutral and everything in-between.

The mango and whipped vanilla scent smells wonderful and the doe-foot applicator helps you navigate around the lip contour with ease. You’ll love how plush, hydrating and smooth the lipsticks feel, especially during winter.


Revlon is available at drugstores nationwide

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Mary Kay Naturally Skincare Collection

In world filled with harmful chemicals and artificial ingredients, many of us are more aware of what we put in and on our bodies. We eat well, exercise and try to stay hydrated while living a balanced lifestyle.

Mary Kay recognizes the importance of clean, eco-certified skincare which is why their new collection is inspired by nature. The naturally derived formulas are free of parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrance, dyes and SLS/SLES to keep your complexion healthy.


Start with the Purifying Cleanser ($29.00) infused with cornflower water, vitamin E and glycerin to calm, soothe, condition and protect against environmental aggressors. Apply the milky cream on a cotton pad or makeup wipe and massage it in to emulsify foundation and impurities before rinsing. The formula is 99.49% natural and safe for sensitive skin.


When most of the oil and makeup has been removed, double-cleanse by slathering your face in more Purifying Cleanser and use Mary Kay’s rechargeable Skinvigorate Sonic Brush ($85.00). In just 60 seconds the powerful vibrations abolish dirt and pollutants trapped deep within pores and you can switch between 3 settings to customize your beauty routine.

For a clear complexion it is important to remove dull cells and Mary Kay’s Exfoliating Powder ($39.00) gently resurfaces with a blend of citric acid, hydrogenated castor oil and rice starch. Simply mix the powder with water, add a couple drops of MK Nourishing Oil (optional) and massage in circular motions to buff away roughness. For less friction add more water and for more grittiness add less. My skin is sensitive to over-exfoliation so I do not use the powder on the same day I use the Sonic Cleansing Brush.


If you want to look well rested, energized and alert, Mary Kay’s Hydrogel Eye Patches ($45.00) are a must! Apply the cool masks on clean dry skin for 20 minutes and relax as the lush serum soothes, depuffs and revitalizes.


After masking use the Moisturizing Stick ($32.00) to soften, protect, hydrate and replenish dry skin. The emollient-rich squalane formula melts in with no greasiness and the tube is great for travel.


Once you apply a layer of balm, pop the Facial Massage Head ($28.00) on the Skinvigorate and use it to tighten, lift and soften fine lines. 24,000 gentle pulsations tone and rejuvenate your profile in a single session.


Last but not least, apply two drops of Nourishing Oil ($55.00) before bed. This is my favorite product in the line because the formula is 100% natural and boosts radiance.


The nutritive blend contains:

*Olive Oil – soothes, prevents premature aging and sun damage, treats psoriasis and eczema, eliminates bacteria, and moisturizes with powerful antioxidants.

*Squalane Oil – supports the skin’s barrier, balances oil production, diminishes common signs of aging, reduces inflammation, boosts blood circulation, controls acne and deeply hydrates to reduce dryness.

*Sweet Almond Oil (high in fatty acids, vitamin E and A) – softens, smooths, prevents blackheads and acne, blurs find lines, heals chapped lips, alleviates irritation, and conditions.

*Vitamin E – potent antioxidant that protects against environmental damage, combats free radicals, reduces UV damage and supports healthy cell function.

You can find these fabulous products at marykay.ca

Friday, February 21, 2020

How to Get Clear Glowing Skin | 3 Products You Need to Try

As an Travel Editor, Blogger and Beauty Expert I’ve worked with over 350 well known global brands and tested countless products. My face has been slathered in more cream, serum, oil and elixir than most people buy in their lifetime and I’ve tested everything from $20.00 moisturizer to $5,000.00 dollar face masks.

After much trial and error my skincare routine boils down to 3 simple products I can’t live without – Egyptian Magic’s All-Natural Healing Cream, CeraVe’s SA Cream and Mary Kay’s Naturally Nourishing Oil.


Although there are many other products on my favorites list, these 3 formulas are all I need for clear healthy skin. I will not be sharing my cleansing routine today (nobody has time to read that much) but I will give you a discount code.

Egyptian Magic ($31.00 - $48.00)
I first heard about Egyptian Magic from my sister Amanda. She purchased it to treat her eczema and discovered that it also fades blemishes and discoloration.

Egyptian Magic has been on the market for 27 years but the formula was created thousands of years ago in the land of the Pharaohs. The cream is widely endorsed by celebrities and makeup artists because it does not contain additives, preservatives, parabens, chemicals or fragrance.

The consistency is more like a balm or salve composed of nature’s most powerful moisturizing ingredients – olive oil, besswax, honey, bee pollen, bee propolis and royal jelly. Seems simple but the healing properties are amazing! 


When I have a terrible rash Egyptian Magic stops the itching and discomfort in less than two minutes! It nourishes and softens my face, lips, body, hands, nails, cuticles heels, scalp and hair so dryness, chapping and flaking is never a problem (even during harsh Canadian winters).

The replenishing emollients quickly alleviate redness, irritation and sensitivity while fading scars, acne marks and hyperpigmentation. With continual use my complexion remains blemish-free and radiant.

Before discovering Egyptian Magic I used to get blotchy hormonal spots that developed into flat red bumps. Now they rarely appear and random zits are a thing of the past. These results are most likely due to the potent combination of bee by-products known to have antiseptic, restorative and balancing properties. They effectively eliminate bacteria, decongest pores and reduce inflammation.

Royal jelly and bee propolis are also high in vitamins B, C and E, amino acids, minerals and antioxidants that fight visible signs of aging including fine lines, wrinkles and premature skin damage.

I prefer to use the balm at night because it melts in like rich facial oil with a bit of greasiness. Don’t be alarmed by the shiny finish. Most of it absorbs by bedtime and won’t transfer to your pillow. Although I layer Egyptian Magic with other products on this list, you may not need to. It functions as an all-purpose all-in-one moisturizer, serum and oil.

To hydrate severely dry skin you can use a small amount during the day but don’t overdo it or your makeup might slide off.

Other uses for Egyptian Magic:
*Eye cream
*Makeup remover
*Sun burn / UV damage
*Heal minor burns, sores, scrapes and cuts
*Eczema and psoriasis treatment
*After-shave/post hair removal balm
*Vaginal moisturizer and lubricant
*Massage
*Tattoo aftercare
*Pregnancy: stretch marks, cracked nipples
*Baby cream: diaper rash
*Skin ulcer and bedsore treatment
*Acne cream

Simply put - Egyptian Magic transforms skin. I’ve been purchasing this product for years without any sponsorship or affiliation but I finally teamed up with the brand to offer you a discount and stock-up for vacation (I never leave home without it).

To purchase visit egyptianmagic.ca and use coupon code NF69J6GT for 10% off. There is no tax added and if you select regular shipping they will upgrade it to expedited shipping at no extra cost. 

CeraVe ($24.00)
I discovered CeraVe’s Renewing SA Cream ($24.00) while attempting to treat small itchy bumps that spread across my cheeks and forehead. I wasn’t sure what was causing them (my skin is usually quite clear) but the condition persisted for months and got so bad that I started searching for a Dermatologist (thankfully that was not necessary).

The ceramides and acids in the SA Cream gently resurface, exfoliate and hydrate. I applied a generous layer every night and in 3-4 weeks the unusual bumps disappeared! 

The jar specifies that the SA Cream is formulated for “extremely dry, rough, bumpy skin” so you will notice a major improvement in texture and tone. It also prevents and reduces the re-occurrence of itching, flaking, redness and razor bumps.


Although my skin is now smooth, supple, even and bright (without having to use abrasive scrubs), I still apply the cream 2-3 times a week to prevent blemishes and remove dry surface cells. 

The active ingredients are:

*Cetearyl Alochol (fatty alcohol/emollient derived from plants) – conditions, protects and softens.

*5 Ceramides that replenish natural lipids, help retain water, diminish signs of aging, shield from pollution and eliminate bacteria.

*Hyaluronic Acid – absorbs 1,000 times its weight in water to keep skin lubricated and healthy. It also firms and reduces the appearance of wrinkles.

*Lactic Acid – renews surface cells.

*Nicinamide (Vitamin B3) – improves the appearance of enlarged pores, brightens, fortifies and evens skin tone by fading dark spots, hyperpigmentation and scars.

The SA Cream comes in a large jar and the rich texture feels like body cream because you can use it everywhere. I apply a thick layer on my face before bed and use Egyptian Magic on top to create a fantastic regenerating night mask with a smooth velvety finish.

During the day or while traveling I use a thin layer under makeup. It helps prevent symptoms of jet-lag, irritation and acne on long drying flights with no greasiness. It can also be used to treat blemishes, discoloration, blackheads, whiteheads, sun damage, excess oil production, keratosis pilaris, eczema and psoriasis.

Sometimes I experience mild tingling around my nose (probably due to the acids) but the sensation does not last long. You might want to refrain from using the cream after clinical procedures, microdermabrasion or exfoliation.

CeraVe is available at Walmart, Shoppers Drug Mart and beauty.shoppersdrugmart.ca.

Mary Kay Naturally Nourishing Oil ($55.00)
There are many brands that make great facial oils (Korres, L’Occitane, Kiehl’s, Estee Lauder etc) but one of my new favorites is Mary Kay’s Nourishing Formula composed of 100% natural oil.

I haven’t been using this product for years like Egyptian Magic or CeraVe but in 6 months it has done wonders for my complexion.


The blend contains:

*Olive Oil – soothes psoriasis, eczema, itching and irritation, eliminates bacteria and deeply moisturizes with powerful antioxidants.

*Squalane Oil – strengthens the skin’s moisture barrier, balances oil production, diminishes signs of aging, reduces inflammation, boosts blood circulation and controls acne.

*Sweet Almond Oil (high in fatty acids, vitamin E and A) – softens, smooths, conditions, prevents blackheads and acne, blurs fine lines and heals chapped skin.

*Vitamin E (high in antioxidants) – protects against environmental damage, combats free radicals, treats UV damage and supports healthy cell function.

I don't mind looking like a grease ball before bed, especially if it means waking up to flawless skin. These products can be used in various combinations and sometimes I layer all three. 

The Naturally Nourishing Oil is available online at marykay.ca and you only need 2 drops per night for visible results.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Romantic Date Night Essentials From Avon

This year Valentine’s Day was on a Friday which means we had the entire Family Day Long-Weekend to indulge in sweet treats and romance.

Spending quality time with your partner should always be a priority (V-Day or not) so it’s a good idea to stash a few products away for special occasions or spontaneous date nights.


For a night on the town I like to shower, shave and clean my teeth before applying makeup. Avon’s Periore Himalaya Pink Salt Toothpaste ($13.00) removes plaque and stubborn stains with a gentle cruelty-free vegan formula. There is no floride, parabens or artificial color and the icy mint flavor keeps your breath fresh for hours.


The pump dispenses the perfect amount of mineral-rich cream to maintain healthy gums and prevent cavities. I actually have a Himalayan salt lamp on my bedside table for air purification and it is the only salt I cook with. When consumed regularly, pink salt may help balance electrolytes and pH, increase hydration, regulate water content in the body, prevent muscle cramps, strengthen bones, lower blood pressure, eliminate toxins and improve circulation.

Enjoying a relaxing soak with your love is always a good idea and Avon’s fragrant Strawberries and Cream Bubble Bath ($12.00) and Bath Petals ($12.00) help set the mood. Light some scented candles, make sure there is a substantial amount of fluffy foam and sprinkle in the soap petals. Your partner will think they’ve died and gone to heaven.


If you plan to go out for date night you’ll need some pretty makeup and Avon always has a great selection. The Send Roses Eye Palette ($22.00) features 16 elegant shades infused with radiant shimmer and metallic flecks. The gold, champagne and silvery hues pair well with the soft neutrals and I’m obsessed with the pink garnet.


For best coverage, use a good primer and spread the color evenly. The shadows are well pigmented, vivid and velvety.

Avon has managed to successfully combine two of my favorite things – lipstick and gelato! The adorable One More Scoop Lip Tints ($15.00 ea) smell exactly like the delicious flavors listed on the wrapping. The color of the ice cream scoop does not indicate the actual shade but the tints are vibrant, buildable, creamy, moist and highly saturated. The deeper hues leave behind a prominent stain so apply them within the border of your lips for a neat finish.

The yellow cone (Raspberry Limoncello) and the brown cone (Chocolate Cherry) are my favorites.

You know when Beyonce said “if you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it?” well she might have been talking about Avon’s Limited-Edition Put a Ring On it Lip Tints ($13.00 ea). They remind me of the colorful Ring Pop Candy I ate as a kid.


The pigments are bright, lightweight, buildable and comfortable with a delicious scent. Although the texture is a bit liquidy, the color spreads evenly, dries quickly and stays put all day – similar to the stain you get after eating a cherry popsicle.


You can’t show off your rings without moisturizing your skin and this is a great time to stock-up on spring hand creams. Right now you can get 2 pretty floral tubes for just $5.00 online. The formula nourishes dry skin, damaged nails and ragged cuticles with no greasiness and I love the soft vanilla scent. Get one for yourself and a friend.


These products are available at avon.ca
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