Category Archives: Health & Skincare

Battle of the Makeup Wipes: One Fav & One Fail

Neutrogena and Bioderma makeup remover wipes review
As handy as makeup removing wipes are, I don’t use them every day. I have a whole night-time skincare routine that I normally stick to, and to remove my makeup I use Bioderma Sensibio H2O cleansing and make-up removing water with the Quo Luxury Cotton Facial Pads (which are a dupe for the pricier Shiseido Facial Cotton). But every now and then, isn’t it so convenient to have some makeup removing wipes on hand to quickly take your makeup off and cleanse when you’re just too tired to go through your entire routine? I also really like makeup removing wipes for traveling. I had a bit of a hard time finding fragrance-free makeup wipes though, so for everyone out there like me with sensitive skin, I thought I would review the two fragrance-free makeup removing wipes that I’ve tried. One has become a re-purchased fav,  and one was a huge fail. Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Face, Health & Skincare, Reviews

New Skincare Routine

new skincare products for sensitive acne-prone skin
Way back in 2014 (that seems so crazy long ago!) I did a post on my skincare routine for sensitive, acne-prone skin. I thought it was about time to do an update 🙂 As I am getting older, my skin is changing. I’m finding it much drier, and my breakouts are more hormonal, which means that there’s not a lot that topical treatments can do (more on that later). Nearly three years later, some of my skincare products are the same, some I have since stopped using, and I’ve also introduced a few new products. I sometimes find it difficult to get information about products that are fragrance-free or good for sensitive skin, so I hope this helps others out there! Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Face, Health & Skincare, Reviews

Life Hack: How to Sanitize Makeup

Ethyl alcohol

How do makeup artists sanitize their makeup? 90% alcohol

Do you ever worry about how many microbes might be hanging out on the surface of your makeup? As a self-confessed germophobe, I’ll admit that I like to make sure that the products I’m putting on my face, particularly around my eyes, are as sanitary as they possibly can be. This is especially important when you have a lot of makeup and can have items in your collection – like eye shadows or blushes – for several years. Of course, if any product starts to look or smell different, its always best to err on the side of caution and just toss it. I thought I would share my quick tips for keeping your makeup germ free. Continue reading

8 Comments

Filed under Health & Skincare

Boscia Peel-Off Masks

Boscia Multi-Masking Medley

Boscia Multi-Masking Medley from Sephora

After discovering this fragrance-free skincare brand, I was interested in trying out more from Japanese-brand Boscia, which makes masks that don’t have any added perfumes or artificial fragrances. I had previously tried out and reviewed some of the Boscia sheet masks. When I was in line at Sephora, in that oh-so-tempting section filled with miniature sample sized versions of products, I spied this Boscia Multi-Masking Medley pack of single use, peel-off masks that included the Green Tea Oil-control mask, the Bright White Mask, and two packs of the Luminizing Black Mask for $23.00 CAD. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Face, Health & Skincare, Reviews

Why I Went Back to the Clarisonic

Clarisonic Mia 2

The Clarisonic Mia 2 came with a travel case and a new, more compact charger

In June, I did a review of the Foreo LUNA silicone facial cleaning brush. My Clarisonic Mia that I’d had for nine years had suddenly died and I was on the fence about repurchasing a Clarisonic. I decided to try the Foreo LUNA for Sensitive/Normal Skin instead, mainly because it promised to be gentler and because of its dual-sided functions: You use it for one minute for cleansing, then flip it over and use it for one minute on the anti-aging setting with your moisturizer or serum. Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under Accessories & Tools, Face, Health & Skincare

DIY Pedis & My Fav Summer Polishes for Toes

Bon Vital Spa Pomegranate & Acai Berry Salt Scrub and Lavender & Rosemary Sugar Scrub

Bon Vital’ BVspa Pomegranate & Acai Berry Salt Scrub and Lavender & Rosemary Sugar Scrub

Summertime is when you need your feet to look their best. During Canadian winters, I literally don’t see my feet for months on end, but they emerge in the summer to peek out of cute open-toed shoes. I’m a big fan of going for the occasional professional pedicure, but I also really like doing my own at home. The thing I love most about a pedi is that although my skin is generally pretty sensitive to fragrance, the one exception are my feet. Its the one time I can indulge in that luxurious spa-like experience of using lovely scented skincare products like a normal girl! Here are my fav skincare products that I’ve been using for summertime feet, and the polishes I have been loving the most on my toes. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Health & Skincare, Nails, Reviews

In Search of Face Masks for Sensitive Skin

Boscia Hydrogel Sheet Masks review

Boscia Hydrogel Sheet Masks

Hey everyone! I have been interested in finding some more good face masks, since discovering a good fragrance-free sheet mask at the drugstore, the Rejuve Collagen Gel Face Mask. There are so many of these types of masks available now at Sephora. They are super popular. The problem for me is finding ones that don’t have added fragrances, which my face doesn’t react well to. So I asked the Sephora SA and she suggested the Boscia brand (originally a Japanese brand). Boscia claims to be “the world’s first 100% preservative-free skincare brand”, which is pretty cool, and their products don’t have added perfumes or artificial fragrances. I picked up 3 of their sheet masks to try out. Here’s what I thought.

Continue reading

9 Comments

Filed under Face, Health & Skincare, Reviews

Foreo LUNA Review by a Former Clarisonic User

Foreo Luna for Sensitive/Normal Skin

Foreo LUNA for Sensitive/Normal Skin

Hi everyone! A couple of months ago my much-loved, extremely pink Clarisonic Mia suddenly died. It was a staple in my skincare routine. I’d had the sonic facial cleansing brush for at least nine years, and I guess eventually the rechargeable battery just gives up. Nothing can last forever I suppose. I was on the fence about repurchasing a new Clarisoinc for two reasons. The first was that when I looked into purchasing a new one at Sephora, I discovered they didn’t make the same Clarisonic Mia that I’d had anymore (the new Mia does not come with a stand for charging) plus there was also an entirely new model called the Mia Fit which was a completely different shape.

Clarisonic Mia Fit

Clarisonic Mia Fit

I was torn as to whether I should get another Mia or the smaller, more compact, round Mia Fit. The second reason I was hesitating was because the last couple of times I’d had a professional facial, the facialist commented that I was developing little broken capillaries and she was not happy when I told her I used the Clarisonic, which she believed was not gentle enough for my sensitive skin, even though I always purchased the Sensitive brush head. While I was debating getting another Clarisonic, I stumbled upon a whole other option…

When I was in Sephora in Halifax, I spotted the oddest looking display. Had Sephora begun selling “personal massagers”? Nope, the egg-shaped, vibrating silicone item was in fact the Foreo LUNA, a sonic cleansing and anti-aging tool. The very helpful SA generously took a great deal of time explaining to me how it worked and how it differed from the Clarisonic. Here is why I decided to buy the Foreo LUNA instead, and what I think of it compared to the Clarisonic. Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under Face, Health & Skincare, Reviews

Deluxe & Beauty to Love Sephora Samples: Buy it or Skip it? (Part 1: Skincare)

100 point samples and Sephora's Beauty to Love Sample Bag

100 point samples and Sephora’s “Beauty to Love” Sample Bag

I did a post like this before, 5 Mini Lippies: Did Samples Convince Me to Buy it or Skip it? and I received quite a few comments that people liked that type of review. I redeemed a bunch of Sephora points along with a code for their “Beauty to Love” Sample Bag (8 samples free with $25 purchase and the code BEAUTYFEED) and I thought I would do another Did Samples Convince Me to Buy it or Skip it? post. Its A LOT of samples, so I’m going to do it as two posts, the first on the skin/hair care samples, and the second on the makeup samples. A few of the items I think I might do separate reviews on, I’m not sure. I hope you’ll enjoy them! Continue reading

16 Comments

Filed under Health & Skincare, Reviews

A Great Acne Spot Treatment

Kate Somerville EradiKate review

EradiKate Acne Treatment

My skin had been going crazy lately, most likely due to stress. My usual skincare routine for sensitive acne-prone skin alone hasn’t been cutting it. When I was in the Toronto Sephora, I asked the SA what the best-selling spot treatment for blemishes was, and she said emphatically without hesitation, Kate Somerville’s EradiKate Acne Treatment. Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under Health & Skincare, Reviews

5 Ways I use Coconut Oil – Plus Skinny Coconut Oil Giveaway!!!

skinny coconut oil
It seems like everyone is obsessed with coconut oil lately. I’ve always been a huge fan of coconut (particularly pina coladas!). I add a tablespoon of coconut butter to my morning smoothie and often cook with coconut oil. About three years ago, I started incorporating coconut oil into my beauty routine too. The brand I typically use is Artisana Organics Raw Virgin Coconut Oil. I was sent Skinny & Co. Coconut Oil to try out (plus extra to giveaway! Details below) and I’m genuinely loving the 100% raw, alkaline coconut oil. In Canada, Skinny Coconut Oil is available at Sephora. It is $15.00 CAD.

I’m liking it better than other coconut oils I have tried for two reasons. The first is the smell. Some coconut oils I have used have no scent at all, and the Artisana only has a faint coconut scent. As soon as you open the Skinny Coconut Oil you get such an amazing coconut aroma. You just want to eat it! Skinny & Co. explain that because of their unique zero heat extraction method, theirs is the closest you can get to a raw coconut. As someone with sensitive skin, I’m sometimes bummed that I can’t use any of the scented beauty products out there; they smell amazing but will irritate the heck out of my skin. The Skinny Coconut Oil makes me feel like I get to use a luxuriously scented product and its all natural.

The second thing I like about the Skinny Coconut Oil is, unlike brands sold in grocery and health food stores that are primarily marketed as food products and come in a huge jar, the Skinny Coconut Oil packaging is similar to a jar of face cream. Continue reading

18 Comments

Filed under Giveaways, Health & Skincare, Reviews

How to get Super Strong Nails Naturally

how to strengthen nails
I’d been noticing that my nails have been getting crazy strong. I mean really noticeably hard and growing so quickly that every time I look at them I’m like, yikes! I need to trim these puppies. I hadn’t been doing anything specific to them, so I started to contemplate why I suddenly had wolverine-like talons. The only thing I can think of that I have been doing differently is that I am taking two kinds of supplements since I started my gym routine in the summer. I truly believe they have been contributing to my nail strength. Continue reading

11 Comments

Filed under Health & Skincare

The Body Shop Sensitive Skin Line: Did it Work for Me?

The Body Shop Aloe Vera Eye Cream Review for Sensitive Skin

Fragrance, colour and alcohol-free eye cream

While I was in The Body Shop checking out their makeup products, I mentioned to the SA that I can’t use the skincare products because I’m really sensitive to scented products. She told me that they had a small line of products for sensitive skin that were fragrance-free. I didn’t know that! I decided to try the Aloe Vera Eye Defense which is $19 CAD. The area around my eyes is extremely sensitive and I have had reactions to nearly every fragrance-free cream I’ve tried including Clinique. The one eye cream that doesn’t irritate my skin is the crazy pricey Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm ($80 CAD!), so I normally stick to my dermatologist recommended, water-based, unscented  Complex 15 and use it around my eyes as well my face. Continue reading

26 Comments

Filed under Eyes, Face, Health & Skincare, Reviews

A Micellar Water as Good as Bioderma?

Marcelle Micellar Solution
Miceller water, according to this cosmetic scientist, contains micelles or spherical liquid crystals that “vastly reduce the irritancy of some detergents”. If your skin is sensitive at all, micellar water is a great choice for removing makeup. I’m a big fan of the Bioderma Sensibio H2O micellar water, but frustratingly, it isn’t carried by any of the stores in my area. I always buy like 2 or 3 bottles, or however many I can fit in my suitcase, whenever I travel.

About a month or so ago I found myself at the end of my supply. Panicked, I headed to Shoppers Drugmart in search of a fragrance-free makeup remover. The SA suggested Marcelle 3 in 1 Micellar Solution. Marcelle is a Canadian brand known for catering to sensitive skin, and their Micellar solution boasts  that its “paraben free, oil free, alcohol free, non comedogenic, hypo-allergenic, for sensitive skin and eyes.” There is also no added fragrance. Continue reading

9 Comments

Filed under Face, Health & Skincare, Reviews

Maska Rejuve Collagen Gel Face Mask Review

Maska Rejuve Skin Rejuvenating Collagen Gel Face Mask

Maska Rejuve Skin Rejuvenating Collagen Gel Face Mask

I had never tried one of these types of masks before, and when I saw the new display in my Lawtons Drugs I was too curious to resist giving it a try. The Rejuve Collagen Gel Face Mask claims to “hydrate & nourish tired, dull, skin to radiant glow.” My favourite type of special facial treatment is a hydrating one, because my skin tends to be on the drier side.

I really liked the ingredients listed in the Rejuve Collagen Gel Face Mask which includes shea butter, hyaluronic acid, collagen, and salicylic acid, and I also liked what wasn’t listed: fragrance or perfume.  Sometimes its hard to find luxurious skin treatments that don’t have a ton of artificial fragrance added.

The Rejuve Collagen Gel Face Mask comes in a plastic tray that is filled with liquid. Opening this was messy. Do it over the sink. The liquid and mask did have a light rose-water scent.

Maska Rejuve Skin Rejuvenating Collagen Gel Face Mask

The mask comes folded up in a liquid-filled plastic tray

When I unfolded the mask, I couldn’t believe how weird and slippery the texture was. It almost felt like it was made of jello.

Maska Rejuve Skin Rejuvenating Collagen Gel Face Mask

Yikes! Unfolded the mask looks a little scary.

The instructions say to “carefully place & massage mask over the face”. This wasn’t as easy as it sounded. The pre-cut holes didn’t really fit well around my eyes, nose and mouth and it was so slippery there was no “massaging” that could occur. It will also only stay on if you’re lying down. I wasn’t used to that. Normally I’m putting products on my face that let me set a timer and go about my business while they work their facial magic. They recommend the mask be left on for 20-30 minutes. So its a bit of a commitment.

Maska Rejuve Skin Rejuvenating Collagen Gel Face Mask

Even scarier on!

The results?
As fussy as the mask was, I have to admit my skin felt amazing afterwards, very soft and hydrated. I even noticed some of my pigmentation and the pinkness in my skin was reduced. It didn’t irritate my skin or cause any breakouts. I would use it again.

The Maska Rejuve Collagen Gel Face Mask was $5.99 CAD.

Thanks for reading!
Love,
Nerdy Librarian Girl ❤

9 Comments

Filed under Health & Skincare, Reviews

Fitness Friday: 1 Day Watermelon Cleanse

I carried a watermelon

I carried a watermelon

I got this idea from YouTuber Zoeebella who did a video on her 1 day watermelon diet. Its very simple, you just buy a whole watermelon and eat it throughout the day whenever you’re hungry. She also made a watermelon smoothie  in her video (again – very simple, just throw it in the blender).

I know I could not commit to a multi-day fruit cleanse, but I thought one day? That seems doable. And who doesn’t love watermelon? I also thought if you’re healthy with no medical conditions, one day eating only watermelon couldn’t be that bad for you, even if there is a lot of science out there warning against multi-day cleanses. I also chose to do it on a lazy rainy Sunday when I could sleep in a bit later, didn’t have to go to work or be around too many people just in case eating watermelon all day made me murderously grumpy and irritable.

So here’s how I did…

Breakfast: watermelon smoothie
I usually start my day with a smoothie, so it seemed natural to throw some in the blender like Zoeebella did and drink my first watermelon meal. It was really yummy, refreshing, and oddly filling. I did have a cup of coffee as well, because I learned from my 10 Day Detox that going cold turkey without caffeine gives me a headache.

Lunch: watermelon

1 day watermelon cleanse

lunch

Really delicious! I felt pretty full after eating a bowl of watermelon.

Afternoon snack: more watermelon
I felt peckish (not super hungry) and ate a little more watermelon, although somewhat less enthusiastically.

“Supper”: more watermelon
I was pretty hungry towards the end of the day. I ate another big bowl of watermelon. I thought – this isn’t so bad and I might be able to make it through this! I had eaten about 3/4ths of the watermelon in total.

But, I didn’t really feel as full as I did after lunch. About an hour later I started to feel REALLY hungry. I almost felt like I hadn’t actually eaten anything all day. I also felt a little light-headed. I also didn’t feel like eating any more watermelon.

Actual supper: boneless, skinless chicken breast
I needed protein!!! I had some chicken breasts in the fridge that I’d prepared for the week. I was starving and had to heat one up and eat it. Then I felt much better 🙂

So the 1 day watermelon cleanse didn’t really work for me. It was a cleanse fail. I think I could do the smoothie and just watermelon for lunch again, but then I’d have to eat some “real food” for supper.

I’d love to hear your experiences with any detoxes or cleanses you’ve done! Leave me a comment if there’s something you’d recommend or something I should avoid. And please like this post if you’d like to see more Fitness Friday posts.

Thanks for reading!
Love,
Nerdy Librarian Girl

3 Comments

Filed under Health & Skincare

A Primer for Sensitive Skin

Marcelle Ideal Skin Perfector

Marcelle Ideal Skin Perfector is perfume free, hypo-allergenic and tested on sensitive skin

I’ve been looking for a good foundation primer for ages. I’m noticing my pores more, especially around my nose and on my chin which primers help conceal and generally give your skin a smoother appearance. The problem is, most primers I’ve tried, like the Smashbox Iconic Photo Finish, Hourglass Veil Mineral, BareMinerals Prime Time, all contain a lot of silicone (that’s what gives them that really “slippery” feel) and have irritated my skin and caused breakouts. Many other primers contain oils, also not a great thing to put on acne-prone skin. Since I found my all time favourite foundation, the water-based MUFE HD Invisible Cover Foundation I’ve avoided silicone and oil based primers because a water-based foundation isn’t going to work well over a silicone or oil primer.

My search for a non-siliconey, oil-free, fragrance-free primer led me to discover Marcelle Ideal Skin Perfector Complete Daily Corrector. Marcelle is a Canadian brand based in Montreal and their products are made in Canada. Marcelle is known for being a fragrance-free, hypo-allergenic brand that is formulated especially for sensitive skin. The Ideal Skin Perfector “perfects and corrects the appearance of uneven skin tone, dark spots, pores, and fine lines” and can be applied on its own or under makeup.

Marcelle Ideal Skin Perfector

the “precise massaging applicator tip” can be used to apply the product

Water-based, there are no oils listed in the ingredients. It isn’t completely silicone free, but it doesn’t have that heavy silicone feel to it like a lot of primers do. It feels like a moisturizer. Its also paraben free for those of you avoiding parabens. I’ve been using it around my nose and on my chin. I don’t really need a primer all over my face.

Marcelle Ideal Skin Perfector

Looks and feels like a light moisturizer and absorbs completely into the skin

It hasn’t irritated my skin, or caused any clogged pores or breakouts. I do find my foundation applies more smoothly over it and my pores are not as accentuated.

The Marcelle Ideal Skin Perfector is $24.95 CAD. Marcelle is available in most drugstores and major chains, and online through the Marcelle website, Well.ca, and London Drugs. Its available in the U.S. through their American site.

Let me know if you’ve found any other oil-free, fragrance-free or non-silicone foundation primers.

Thanks for reading!
Love,
Nerdy Librarian Girl ❤

10 Comments

Filed under Face, Foundation & Primer, Health & Skincare, Reviews

Fitness Friday: Low Calorie Hydration!

Karma Wellness Water

Karma Wellness Water

In the summer, its more important than ever to stay hydrated. I’m not a huge fan of plain water. I usually drink sparkling water and love my Soda Stream water carbonator which I previously posted about. I’m trying to avoid sugary drinks which I tend to crave when the weather is warmer, but I also try to avoid artificial sweeteners, like aspartame.

I have just discovered a really cool drink (and I am in no way affiliated with this company). Its has the rather cheesy name of Karma Wellness Water, but try to get past your initial eye-roll. At only 20 calories each, Karma Wellness Water comes in 5 yummy flavours – Pineapple Coconut (my fav), Acai Pomberry, Rasberry Guava Jackfruit, Passionfruit Green Tea, & Orange Mango. The reason its so low cal is that although it does contain some sugar, its mainly sweetened with Steevia, a naturally occurring sweetener made from the leaves of the South American Stevia rebaudiana plant.

The really cool thing about it though is that it contains premixed vitamins in the “KarmaCap” that you mix in, like A, D, E, B6, & B12 (in the Pineapple Coconut for example).

step 1 peel off the sticker

Step 1: Peel

step 2 press

Step 2: Press

 vitamins being released into the drink

The vitamins being released into the drink

step 3 shake

Step 3: Shake!

According to their website, water soluble vitamins lose potency in water: “Additionally, vitamins suffer degradation while they are exposed to UV rays, oxygen and heat. The loss is greater when the vitamin contents are spread across the full contents of bottled beverages. The broader the surface area, the greater the exposure. In sharp contrast, Karma’s vitamins are stored dry in the hermetically sealed cap, the vitamins are stored in a condensed area which limits exposure to the elements, and Karma makes use of opaque plastic and a UV blocker in its cap…By introducing the vitamins only seconds or minutes from actual consumption, it optimizes the effectiveness of the nutrient-rich ingredients.”

You are only supposed to drink 1 per day. I love them. The Karma Wellness Water are $2.29 CAD.

Another thing I have recently tried and am now obsessed with is all natural coconut water. At 48 calories in a 250 ml can, its a much better option that sugar-filled drinks. If you haven’t tried it before, it doesn’t really taste like coconut. Its more of a slightly sweet, nutty flavour that is very unique and distinctive. A study in a peer-reviewed journal showed that coconut water replenished body fluids better than water (Idárraga & Aragón-Vargas, 2010).

low sugar, low calorie coconut water

low sugar, low calorie coconut water

I buy the brand Thirsty Buddha which is $1.99 CAD (again, I’m in no way affiliated with this company).

I hope this gives you some ideas for yummy, low calorie ways to stay hydrated this summer!

Reference:
Idárraga, A. P., & Aragón-Vargas, L. F. (2010). Post-exercise rehydration with coconut water. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 42(5), 575.

Thanks for reading!
Love,
Nerdy Librarian Girl ❤

4 Comments

Filed under Health & Skincare

Fitness Friday: YouTube Yoga

Hi guys! I’m back with another Fitness Friday. I wanted to share with you a recent discovery of mine: YouTube yoga! Although I go to YouTube to find out how to do all sorts of things (from how to poach an egg to how to install satellite radio in my car) it had never occurred to me to look for yoga. I used to love going to yoga classes, but since moving here I’ve had a difficult time finding yoga classes, one of the drawbacks of rural small-town living.

Solution? YouTube yoga. I roll out my pink yoga mat in my living room, ignore the strange looks from my cat Miss Vivien, and I’m all set. There are entire free workouts to follow anywhere from 15 minutes to nearly an hour depending on how much time you have.

Here are three of my favourite recent discoveries.

Yoga with Adriene

Yoga with Adriene

Yoga with Adriene

My favourite “yogi”, Texas-based Adriene is super cute and easy to follow, and her over 700,000 subscribers would surely agree. She has really creative video ideas and themes, like her 30 Days of Yoga series, and one of my favourites, her Bedtime Yoga Sequence. Adriene uploads a new video every Wednesday.

Yoga by Candace

Yoga by Candace

Yoga by Candace

Another great yoga YouTuber, Candace has lots of short targeted videos like 5 Minute Guided Meditation for Stress Relief and on specific poses or body parts, as well as longer videos. I love that she organized her videos by length (15, 20, 30 minutes). You know how Librarians love organization! Candace uploads a new video every Tuesday.

SarahBeth Yoga

SarahBeth Yoga

SarahBeth Yoga

SarahBeth has a great selection of 5-30 minute videos, many focused on restorative yoga and yoga to address different heath concerns. I am obsessed with her Yoga for Neck & Shoulder Tension. SarahBeth uploads new videos on Fridays.

I can’t believe it took me so long to discover YouTube yoga. Hope you enjoyed this post. If you have yoga channels that you love, please share them with me. I’d love to hear from you. Please like this post if you’d like to see more Fitness Friday posts!

Thanks for reading!
Love,
Nerdy Librarian Girl ❤

9 Comments

Filed under Health & Skincare

Fitness Friday: My 10-Day Detox Experience

10-Day Detox Diet review

No carbs, no sugar, no dairy, no caffeine, no alcohol and a lot of celery

If you saw my Fitbit post, I mentioned I was attempting to be healthier. I decided to do a lot of things this summer to be more active and generally healthier, including joining a gym and working with a personal trainer. I thought it would be fun to keep you updated with some of the things I’m trying out with a weekly post I’m calling “Fitness Friday”. This week I’m reviewing my experience doing my very first ever cleanse, Dr. Mark Hyman’s 10-Day Detox diet.

I knew I could never get through most of the juice cleanses I was reading about (Only juice for 3 days? No way), but the 10-Day Detox designed to reboot your metabolism, allows you to eat solid food at least. You can get the full 10-Day Detox Diet meal plan here. The “detox” part is that for 10 days you basically eliminate sugar, carbs, dairy, caffeine and alcohol. Like any sane, rational person, my initial reaction to this idea was:

10-day detox diet review

Detox? Nooooooooo!

But honestly after doing it for 10 days, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I loved the morning protein shake recipe! I typically make a smoothie for breakfast so this wasn’t too radical a change for me.

10-day detox smoothie recipe

The breakfast protein shake recipe was super yummy

For lunch I would have a salad with 1/2 a chicken breast, and for supper another 1/2 chicken breast or a piece of fish with a “green base” like broccoli, asparagus, or brussel sprouts (actually one of my favourite foods – totally weird I know).  I snacked on raw almonds and celery sometimes with hummus. I did feel like I ate A LOT of celery.

What did I find the hardest part? Before I started, I thought giving up cheese (my favourite food!) would be the hardest part, followed by not being able to have a glass of wine. The hardest part actually turned out to be no caffeine! Despite all the testimonials about how amazing you feel, for the first four days I had a constant headache, a symptom of caffeine-withdrawal. I normally have about 2 cups of coffee a day. Once I got past that, I started to feel much better. I have gone back to drinking my morning coffee now but I’m not adding sugar anymore; I’ve switched to Steevia.

What worked really well for me after the detox is that I’m eating less sugar, I feel like I’ve broken my “cheese addiction” – the only dairy I’m eating now is yogurt – and I discovered I love almond milk. I’m lactose intolerant and have to take Lactaid pills, so I’m happy to be reducing the dairy I’m eating instead. I’ve also decided to boycott beer and wine for the summer, or at least avoid it as much as I can. I just feel better and sleep better without it.

Overall, it wasn’t life-changing, but I think a sensible detox is a great way to kick-start a change in your eating habits and make you realize you won’t miss some of the bad things you’re eating as much as you thought you would…except for caffeine! 🙂

I’d love to hear your experiences with any detoxes or cleanses you’ve done! Leave me a comment if there’s something you’d recommend or something I should avoid. And please like this post if you’d like to see more Fitness Friday posts.

Thanks for reading!
Love,
Nerdy Librarian Girl ❤

12 Comments

Filed under Health & Skincare, Reviews

Got a Fitbit

fitbit review

Of course I needed a pink one

Hey everyone! In an attempt to be healthier, I invested in a Fitbit. If you’re not sure what a Fitbit is, its a wearable fitness device that basically tracks your activity level, mainly by how many steps you take a day (among other features). There are lots of similar fitness devices on the market, like Jawbone and Vivo for example. I decided on Fitbit because a good friend of mine also has one and we can challenge each other and see weekly comparisons, which I though would be a good motivator.

The goal is to do 10,000 steps a day, but you can adjust your goal to fewer steps or more steps if you prefer. I love that when I get to 10,ooo steps my Fitbit celebrates by vibrating and lighting up! lol.

Fitbit syncs to my iPhone, iPad and PC, and you can see lots of information, like your progress over time, your number of “active minutes” per day, and how many calories you’ve burned based on your recorded activity level.

Fitbit review

The iPhone app syncs with your Fitbit and records all your activity

The coolest feature is that at night you can put it in “sleep mode” and it tracks how well you sleep, showing you when you were restless or awake and calculates your “sleep efficiency”.

Fitbit review

In “sleep mode” Fitbit can track how well you slept

I’ve only had it a few weeks so far, but I am really loving it and I think it is helping me to be more active. I will update you guys again in a couple of months for a full review and to see if I am still finding it useful. The model I purchased is the Fitbit Flex and it costs $99 CAD. Its rechargeable and I find the battery lasts about a week.

I was wondering if anyone else has a Fitbit or similar fitness device? Do you find it helps and are you still using it and loving it? Do the other brands do things my Fitbit doesn’t? Please share your experience, I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading!
Love,
Nerdy Librarian Girl ❤

11 Comments

Filed under Health & Skincare, Reviews

What Would You Like to Pick Up at the Sephora VIB Sale?

Sephora VIB Sale

Its the VIB Sale at Sephora!

Hi everyone! I took advantage of the 15% off VIB Rouge discount to order a few things today. I re-ordered some favourites, the Guerain Maxi Lash Mascara, the Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara, and my favourite perfume, Issey Miyake. I love getting it in the rollerball form because its so easy to apply and to travel with.

I’d purchased a WEN On the Go Travel Kit and really liked the Sweet Almond Mint Replenishing Treatment, but the full-size is fairly pricey ($41 CAD), so I’m glad I could get this on sale.

I also got two lipsticks to review for my ongoing High-end Lipstick Review series, Dolce & Gabbana and YSL. Can’t wait to review these!

How about you? Are you taking advantage of the VIB sale?

Thanks for reading!
Love,
Nerdy Librarian Girl ❤

11 Comments

Filed under Eyes, Favourites, Health & Skincare, Lips, Lipstick, Mascara

Skull Lip Balm!

Rebels Refinery Capital Vices Collection skull lip balm

Rebels Refinery Capital Vices Collection unisex lip balm

Oh hi there. Sorry that from hereforth all other lip balms will seem boring.” – Rebels Refinery

I think that pretty much sums it up. I means SKULL LIP BALM! Are you kidding me? How beyond amazing it this? Rebels Refinery is an awesome Canadian brand that actually specializes in men’s products (but note, the lip balm is “unisex”) made from all natural, organic ingredients that aren’t tested on animals. Their logo and packaging has a real steam-punk vibe.

Rebels Refinery

I ordered their skull lip balm from their website. Although shipping was a little more than I normally like to pay ($17.01 CAD) I think it was totally worth it. Imagine whipping this little guy out of your purse.

skull lip balm

“Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him”

And the lip balm itself is actually really good too! I’m super picky about lip balm. For instance I’m not a fan of EOS or Fresh Sugar. The Rebels Refinery lip balm contains the “highest quality coconut and sweet almond oils” and Vitamin E. I find it very hydrating. I chose the flavour Avaritia, which is Latin for one of the 7 deadly sins (avarice/greed). Its described as “natural” and is pretty much unscented/unflavoured, but the lip balm is also available in Superbia (mint) and Luxuria (“strange-fruit”).

I love how you twist off the skull to reveal the lip balm “brain” inside. So macabre. 🙂

skull lip balm

Brains!

The bottom of the lip balm is even embossed with the quotation “Be all my sins remember’d” – Hamlet.

Essentially the best lip balm of all time, the Rebels Refinery Capital Vices Collection lip balm is a mere $7.99 CAD. Note: As per usual, I am in no way associated with this company and purchased this product myself. All opinions are my own 🙂

Thanks for reading!
Love,
Nerdy Librarian Girl

7 Comments

Filed under Health & Skincare, Reviews

Ipsy August Glam Bag Review & Why I Cancelled My Subscription

Ipsy Glam Bag for August 2014

Ipsy Glam Bag for August 2014

This is my last Ipsy Glam bag review (more about why I cancelled my subscription below). My August bag arrived late this month, just like my July bag. The August bag’s theme was fittingly “Beauty Schooled”, just in time for back-to-school. This month may be the cutest bag yet, a plastic cylinder shaped bag with orange polka-dots.

In the August bag was:

  • Urban Decay Perversion Mascara (0.1 oz mini):  $26.00 for full 0.4 oz size
  • Lord & Berry Silk Kajal Kohl Eye Pencil (0.02 oz mini): Could not find a price
  • Coastal Scents Forever Blush Sample Duo in “Fresh” & “Elegant” (0.09 oz sample):  $8.70 each for full 0.28 oz sizes
  • Jersey Shore Sun Mongongo Lip Conditioner: $6.00
  • Paula’s Choice Skincare Clear Ultra-Light Daily Mattifying Fluid SPF 30+ (0.5 0z sample size): $29.59 for full 2 oz size

Retail prices are in CAD and don’t include taxes or applicable shipping.

The total retail value of the August bag (excluding the Kohl Eye Pencil I couldn’t find a price for) if I were to purchase the full-sized products (not including taxes or shipping, etc.) would be: $78.99 CAD.

I was excited to try the  Urban Decay Perversion Mascara but I have to say I was less than impressed with it. Sephora is currently selling it with the Subversion Primer. I don’t know if you’d get a more dramatic, volumizing effect if you used the primer, but it didn’t wow me. I still love my Guerlain Maxi Lash.

The Lord & Berry Silk Kajal Kohl Eye Pencil was a bit of a fail as it was really smudgy and not the type that stays put very well. I’d have to be doing a REALLY smokey eye! Lord & Berry is not a brand that’s available in Canada.

I haven’t tried any Coastal Scents makeup so the blush sample was neat, especially the fact that it was a duo so you get to try two shades. My favourite was the Jersey Shore Sun Mongongo Lip Conditioner! Love this lip balm!!! I have no idea where to buy it in Canada, except on Amazon.com.

So, I decided to cancel my Ipsy subscription. Why?
It wasn’t because I was unhappy with the Glam bags or the products I was receiving. I actually had a lot of fun getting them each month and although some of the products were misses, many were hits. Here are some of the reasons I decided to cancel:

  • I have been subscribing for a year now. The “novelty” or the fun factor was starting to wear off a bit.
  • I now have 12 cosmetic bags! I was starting to run out of things to do with them 🙂
  • I was accumulating a lot of samples and was finding I wasn’t able to keep up with trying them all.
  • I was looking for ways to save some money in my budget and wasn’t as interested in the expense of a monthly subscription service.

I hope my reviews of my monthly Ipsy bags have been helpful for those of you curious about getting a subscription! Maybe I’ll subscribe to another type of monthly sample service eventually. Who knows.

Thanks for stopping by ❤

Love

Nerdy Librarian Girl

7 Comments

Filed under Cheeks, Eye Liner, Eyes, Face, Health & Skincare, Mascara, Reviews

Skincare Routine for Sensitive Acne-Prone Skin

My skincare routine for sensitive/blemish prone skin

My skincare routine for sensitive/blemish prone skin

I just want to start by saying that if you are having skin issues, particularly acne, I would recommend seeing a professional dermatologist. They can assess you individually and provide you with prescription strength treatments that are unavailable over-the-counter. Seeing a dermatologist helped me tremendously.

This is my current evening skincare routine. I hope this post helps you if you are struggling with similar skin concerns. If you have any questions, leave me a comment below and I will be happy to provide more information.

Step 1: Eye Makeup Removal

Lid-Care Towelettes Eye Makeup Remover

Lid-Care Towelettes Eye Makeup Remover

Lid-Care Towelettes Eye Makeup Remover

This is what the individually wrapped towelette looks like

I have VERY sensitive eyes and had a hard time finding an eye makeup remover that wouldn’t sting and irritate the skin around my eyes. Then I discovered these Lid-Care Towelettes. They are specifically made for cleaning your eyelids and are fragrance-free and non-irritating. I love that they are pre-moistened and individually wrapped: Great for travel! A box of 30 is $12.99 CAD. I get mine at Lawton’s Drugs, but they are also available at Wal-Mart and well.ca.

Step 2: Makeup Removal

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Make-Up Removing Micelle Solution for Sensitive Skin (Fragrance-free)

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Make-Up Removing Micelle Solution for Sensitive Skin (Fragrance-free)

I started using Bioderma about 8 months ago and I have noticed a huge improvement in my skin. Miceller water, according to this cosmetic scientist, contains micelles or spherical liquid crystals that “vastly reduce the irritancy of some detergents”. This gentle cleanser removes every trace of makeup but doesn’t leave my skin feeling tight and dry. Although Bioderma is available in most drugstore chains, none of my local drugstores carry it (the perils of small town living). I order it online through Murale or pick op a bottle when I’m traveling. Its $21.95 CAD.

I use the square Quo Luxury Cotton Facial Pads with it. You may want to checkout my post on how they’re a dupe for the Shiseido Facial Cotton pads.

Step 3: Cleansing

Adasept Antibacterial Skin Cleanser and the Clarasonic Mia

Adasept Antibacterial Skin Cleanser and the Clarasonic Mia

My dermatologist recommended using an antibacterial cleanser, Tersaseptic, which I used for years but has been discontinued. My pharmacist told me about Adasept, which has the exact same active ingredient, Triclosan 0.5%. Adasept is a “gentle sudsing soapless formula for acne”. I buy mine at Lawton’s Drugs. Rexall also carries it and its available online through well.ca: the 500 ml size is $22.89 and the  250ml size is $12.29 CAD.

I use it with the Clarasonic Mia. The Clarasoinc is an investment at $150 CAD, but I’ve had mine for 10 years and use it every night, dropped it a bunch of times, travel with it, and it just keeps on going! It deep cleans my pores (I get almost zero blackheads) yet its very gentle. I can’t recommend this enough. I use the “sensitive” head and replace it about every 6 months. Replacement heads are $31 CAD.

Step 4: Topical Acne Treatment

Clindets pads clindamycin 1% available with prescription only

Clindets pads clindamycin 1% available with prescription only

As I mentioned, I really recommend a prescription strength treatment for acne-prone skin. There are many different types and your skin may not respond to certain treatments, so a doctor can work with you trying different things until you find something that works for you. For example, my skin did not react well to Retinoid cream which severely irritated it and caused redness, and worst of all didn’t improve the acne. My skin responds better to a topical antibiotic. I initially used erythromycin, but eventually my skin stopped responding to that (which can happen) so we switched to clindamycin. The individually wrapped Clindets pads have been working amazingly well. I apply twice daily. The treatment is covered by my insurance.

UPDATE: I’ve been unable to get Clindets, as there seems to be a distribution issue. My pharmacist is filling my prescription with Dalacin T. It’s a topical antibiotic clindamycin 1% in isopropyl alcohol 50% in a bottle with a rollerball on top (VS pre-moistened pads). It is working as well as Clindets.

Step 5: Moisturize

Complex 15 Moisturizer

Complex 15 Moisturizer

Complex 15 was recommended by my dermatologist. Its water-based and fragrance-free.  There is a smaller 100ml size labelled “Daily Face Cream”  and a larger 300ml size labelled “Body Lotion”. Both are $9.99 CAD and I cannot for the life of me find any difference between the two, so I just buy the “body lotion” and use it on my face. Its available at most Canadian drugstores (Shoppers Drugmart, London Drugs, Lawtons Drugs), Walmart, and online through well.ca. You may also want to see my post on Moisturizers for Sensitive Skin.

Step 6: Spot Treatment as Needed

Adasept Benzoyl Peroxide Gel USP 5%

Adasept Benzoyl Peroxide Gel USP 5%

If I feel a blemish coming on, I will use the Adasept Gel as a spot-treatment. When I wake up the next morning, its usually completely gone. It is amazing! I buy mine at Lawton’s Drugs and its available online through well.ca for $13.3 CAD. I only need to use a tiny amount of this so a little bottle lasts months.

Once a week: Exfoliate

Phytomer Vegetal Exfoliant

Use a gentle enzyme exfoliator once a week to remove dead skin cells

Its important to exfoliate dead skin cells regularly to help combat acne. I prefer a gentler enzyme-based exfoliator to a physical exfoliator (products with grains or beads which can actually irritate skin more). There are lots to choose from. I’m currently using the Phytomer Vegetal Exfoliant which uses papain, the fruit enzyme from papaya, to dissolve dead skin cells. I got it at a spa when I had a facial and I think it was around $35 CAD. I apply it to clean skin on a Saturday or a Sunday morning and leave it on for 10 minutes.

Morning Skincare Routine
In the mornings, I wash my face with just water, use my Clindets pad, and then moisturize with Complex 15.

This is what’s been currently working for me. Hope this  helps!

Thanks for stopping by ❤

Love,

Nerdy Librarian Girl

9 Comments

Filed under Accessories & Tools, Face, Favourites, Health & Skincare