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
Tag Archives: sensitive skin
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
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.
Hey everyone! I just got back from a trip to Estonia and while I was there I made time to do a little bit of makeup shopping (of course!). It was really neat to be in Eastern Europe and see all sorts of different brands I ‘d never heard of and that aren’t available in Canada. Once I got back, I did some internet research to learn more about the brands and I’m pretty happy with my new discoveries.
The first brand I discovered was the Swedish brand, Make Up Store. I happened upon one of their shops while I was in Helsinki for the day. Continue reading
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.
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
Hey everyone! I have been away on vacation (in sunny Jamaica!) but I’m back and have quite a few things to post about that I picked up in the spring Sephora sale before I left. Canadian brand Bite Beauty known for its lip products made from natural, organic, food-grade ingredients that are “good enough to eat” recently came out with a new line of Amuse Bouche lipsticks. I loved the Bite products I’ve tried so far, including their Luminous Creme lipstick in the shade Cava, and their Agave Lip Masks. During the Sephora sale I wanted to try out one of the new Amuse Bouche lipsticks and I couldn’t help add a couple of additional Bite products to my cart. Continue reading
Welcome back to part 2 of my Did Samples Make me Want to Buy it or Skip it? Today I’m reviewing the primers and foundation samples I received.
Becca Backlight Priming Filter ($46 CAD): This primer claims to be “infused with 3 unique pearls to add light behind your complexion.” I like a glowy, dewy type of finish so I had high hopes for this Becca primer, a brand known for their highlighters. After an ingredients check, I was happy to see this was a mostly water-based primer, but then frustrated that it had added fragrance (urgh! #sensitiveskin #thestruggleisreal). Still, I gave it a try. After using this a couple of times under my MUFE Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation, I have to be honest, I saw absolutely no difference. No light. No glow. It did not create “an aura of light behind [my] foundation.” I prefer my Marcelle Ideal Skin Perfector instead which is a great, light, fragrance-free moisturizer/primer for dry sensitive skin, and about half the price. Verdict: Skip-it. Continue reading
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
Nerdy Librarian Girl ❤
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.
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.
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!
Nerdy Librarian Girl ❤
Annabelle is a Canadian drugstore brand based in Montreal that began in the 1960s. Most of their makeup products are actually made in Canada. I have already blogged about my love of the Annabelle lip liners, which are some of my favourite lip liners ever and very similar to the MAC lip liners. One of the things I like most about Annabelle is that their makeup has no scent or fragrance and is great for sensitive skin. I thought I’d do a brand spotlight to talk about some of the best Annabelle makeup products I’ve been trying out and also one that was a “miss” for me.
First up are the Annabelle eye shadows. This brand has quite an impressive selection for a drugstore brand as well as lots of good neutral shades (also hard to find at the drugstore). The Annabelle Quad Eyeshadow in Java Jive with the four shades Cream, Camel, Beige, & Brown is an awesome neutral palette.
The quad itself didn’t photograph well and all of the pics I took of it are showing as way too cool and purpley toned (sorry!), but the swatches, below, are more accurate.
None of the four shadows are overly shimmery. They just have a bit of sheen and the darkest Brown shade is pretty matte. I like using the Cream shade to blend out with and on my brow bone. Its very light which is perfect for my fair skin. I can do an eye look with just this quad alone.
The cool-toned neutral Trio Eyeshadow in Haute Chocolate was another awesome find!
Both the quad and trio I tried are very long-wearing and don’t crease on me (I always use an eye shadow primer). There are 5 other quads and 9 other trios to choose from! My favourite though are the Annabelle Single Eyeshadows which totally remind me of the MAC eye shadows. These are made in Canada and come in 15 shades.
I have three of these: #225 Ivory, Suedine, and #127 Brown Frost.
Ivory is basically a dupe for MAC Brule. Suedine (french for “Suede”) is a gorgeous neutral taupey-brown, and Brown Frost is a good, medium, cool-toned brown, and both have the prettiest (non-shimmery) sheen. The Singles are so soft, easy to work with and long-wearing they perform like high-end eye shadows.
I was also brave and tried one of their TwistUp Retractable Eyeshadow Crayons. I don’t typically have much luck with creamy eye shadows, but the shade Taupe, a slightly metallic, golden shade that wasn’t too warm-toned for me was calling my name.
I have used this on its own and under the Annabelle shadows and remarkably it hasn’t been creasing on me! I could barely get the swatch off my hand. Once these puppies are set, they aren’t going anywhere! Taupe is a beautiful, flattering shade that’s along the lines of MAC Powersurge Eye Kohl. Its like a browner, more coppery version of Powersurge.
The Annabelle Blushon powder blushes also bear a striking resemblance to the MAC blushes and are also Canadian made.
I have #44 Rose Fawn and #32 Pronto.
Rose Fawn is soft, cool-toned pink that is nearly matte with only a hint of sheen. It really reminds me of the feel and the quality of the MAC blushes. Its really pretty on fair skin and lasts all day. I’ve worn this one a lot.
One miss: I absolutely loved Pronto, the pale, neutral rosey-taupe type of blush shade I love, but sadly Pronto turned out to be a miss for me. It looks beautiful when first applied but it seriously oxidized on me and by the end of the day it was way darker and completely, straight up-bronzer brown. My BF even asked me what I had on my face. I didn’t have any issues with Rose Fawn oxidizing.
Another favourite of mine are the Annabelle TwistUp Retractable Lipstick Crayons. I have the shades Romance a nude, mauvey pink and Vamp a deep, burgundy-plum.
These really remind me of the MAC Patentpolish Lip Pencils (I’ve reviewed Kittenish and Spontaneous, and Sultana). Side note: How excited are you that MAC is coming out with more Patentpolish Lip Pencils in new colours???!!! The Annabelle Lipstick Crayons feel creamy and comfortable like a lip balm and you can pop them on without a mirror, but they stay on for hours. I mean, look how pretty they are:
Annabelle is available in most drugstores – Shoppers Drug Mart, London Drugs, Rexall, Lawton’s Drugs – and Wal-Mart and Loblaws. If you are in the United States the Annabelle.ca site ships to the continental US, but doesn’t currently ship internationally. Here’s what I paid (yup bought all these myself and I’m not affiliated with the company in any way) for these Annabelle makeup items:
Annabelle Quad Eyeshadow: $10.95 CAD
Annabelle Trio Eyeshadow: $7.95 CAD
Anabelle Single Eyeshadow: $5.95 CAD
Annabelle TwistUp Retractable Eyeshadow Crayon: $9.95 CAD
Annabelle Blushon: $7.95 CAD
Annabelle TwistUp Retractable Lipstick Crayon: $9.95 CAD
I’d love to hear if you’ve tried the brand and if you have a favourite Annabelle product!
Thanks for reading!
Nerdy Librarian Girl ❤
As I mentioned in my last post, I just bought a house and have to sell my current house, so there’s lots of de-cluttering and packing going on. As I go through my makeup collection, I have been trying to be ruthless about tossing out things I really don’t like and probably won’t use anymore. This post is about some of those “unfavourites”: things I have tried (and in some cases tried and tried and tried) to like, but just aren’t working for me. It was time to say goodbye to:
Revlon PhotoReady Translucent Finisher: Since I switched to liquid foundation, I have been searching for a light, non-cakey touch-up powder to powder my t-zone with, as it can get a bit shiny throughout the day. This powder is definitely NOT non-cakey and looks very obvious over my foundation. I also hate the ginormous packaging which is way too big for my purse and looks ridiculous to use as a compact for a in public touch-ups. $15.99 CAD.
Revlon PhotoReady Concealer in “Fair”: I bought this to conceal occasional blemishes (find out how my skincare routine has dramatically reduced those). Again its NOT non-cakey, looks obvious on the skin plus its slightly too dark for my fair skin tone and its their lightest shade. $10.99 CAD.
bareMinerals Ready Touch Up Veil: I was soo excited about this product because I was a big fan of bareMinerals, but the loose powder can be a pain to carry around and use for touch ups. What could be better than their mineral veil in pressed form, I thought? Hmm…a lot of things apparently. I have really tried to make this work (different puffs, brushes, etc.) but this powder just looks awful on me. Its cakey, breaks down and looks patchy, and doesn’t help reduce shine at all as claimed. Its available at Sephora for $28.00 CAD.
theBalm Sexy Mama Anti-Shine Translucent Powder: I have had this a while (I got it last year in my theBalm haul). I haven’t been able to part with it because the packaging, like all theBalm packaging, is just so cute. This is yet another touch-up powder that is not working for me for similar reasons as above. And although this is allegedly “translucent”, it does oxidize on me and go a bit orangey. As a stylish, portable compact I give it an “A” but I give the powder inside “F”. It’s also pricey at $26.00 CAD.
Rachel K CC Cream in “Fair”: I ordered this from LisalisaD1 for $39.00 USD plus shipping. I will admit I generally don’t have any luck with primers. I have yet to find one I like that doesn’t irritate my skin and/or cause breakouts (I think I’m likely sensitive to the silicone in them). I didn’t like the smell of the Rachel K, a heavily scented, old-fashioned “makeupy” smell. It didn’t work under my bareMinerals foundation or under my Make Up For Ever HD Foundation. Maybe the ingredients were at odds with each other, but this seemed to repel both foundations and make their application less smooth and even. I am passing this one on to my Mom who really likes primers and maybe she’ll have more luck.
Thanks for stopping by ❤
Nerdy Librarian Girl
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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 ❤
Nerdy Librarian Girl
When it comes to favourites, a good indicator that you really love a beauty product is when you use it up entirely and then buy it again (and again!). I had an idea to do a post about the products I have repurchased the most. When I thought about it, I came up with a list of my 12 most repurchased products of all time, which I could also have called the makeup products I am most obsessed with. So, in no particular order, here they are:
Bare Minerals Original Foundation SPF 15 ($35.00 CAD): I’ve been using this powder foundation for over 10 years. Its a great match for fair skin, and when my skin was really break-out prone this was the only foundation that wouldn’t exacerbate the issue. It never irritated my sensitive skin.
Too Faced Shadow Insurance eyeshadow primer ($24.00 CAD): I prefer the Too Faced over the Urban Decay Primer Potion. I find it creamier and smoother and it lasts longer on me. When I discovered eyeshadow primer it literally changed my (makeup) life!
Benefit Benetint Cheek Stain ($36.00 CAD): This is another product that I’ve been using for at least 10 years, maybe more. I use it everyday under my foundation. It gives fair skin a beautiful, glowing from within flush. I couldn’t even guess how many of these little bottles I’ve gone through!
Three of my most repurchased products are MAC eyeshadows in Patina, Omega and Brule ($12-19.00 CAD). I have hit pan on all three multiple times.
Laura Mercier Secret Concealer ($31.00 CAD): This is my absolute favourite under eye concealer. I used to buy “1 – for light complexions with pink undertones” and then Sephora started carrying “0.5 – light beige for fair to light complexions” which I like even better.
Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder ($22.00 CAD for 0.14oz size): I use this to set my under eye concealer. I always buy the mini size because you only need to use a tiny amount. The mini size lasts forever and I’ve still gone through three or four of these.
NYX powder blush in “Angel” ($6.00 CAD): This is my favourite blush ever! It lasts longer on me than any other powder blush (Nars, MAC, Tarte…) and is the prettiest shade on fair skin. The blushes are small though, so I go through them quickly. I’ve gone through a lot of these.
MAC Eye Kohl in “Powersurge” ($19.00 CAD): This flattering, wearable “bronzed-brown with golden shimmer” is the perfect eyeliner. I first heard about it from Pixiwoo. I use it on my lower waterline and smudge it out on my lower lash line. I literally have like 3 back-ups of this and I’m also constantly buying it for other people so they can discover the eyeliner goodness that is Powersurge!
Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara ($12.00 CAD): I have been loving this little mascara since it debuted. I’d never worn mascara on my lower lashes because I could never find anything that would stay on there. This doesn’t smudge or flake and stays put until I wash it off. And the little brush is so cute!
Blistex Daily Conditioning Treatment SPF 20 in the peach pot ($3.99 CAD): I’ve been using this lipbalm since I was in highschool, but I won’t say how long ago that was, lol. I suspect that if I could stack up all of the empty pots of this lipbalm that I’ve gone through, the tower might reach the moon.
I’d like to tag anyone reading this to do this post too! I’d love to hear about your most repurchased products.
Thanks for stopping by! ❤
Nerdy Librarian Girl
In terms of liquid foundation, I’m really happy with my Make Up For Ever HD Foundation, but I am such a fan of bareMinerals I wanted to try their new bareSkin foundation. This is one of the things I picked up while shopping in Vegas.
The bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation is “Clinically proven tone-correcting mineral foundation and brightening serum in one…this ultra-thin, skin-perfecting fluid provides seamless adjustable coverage, a natural finish and the look and feel of beautiful skin while delivering a noticeably brighter, more youthful appearance. Made with the bare minimum ingredients and formulated without oil, silicone, parabens or fragrance.”
I got the brush designed to go with it, which has a little “reservoir” in the center where you’re supposed to drop 1-2 drops of foundation and buff onto your skin in circular motions. bareMinerals says to add more drops to increase coverage.
So here is the overview of what I liked and disliked about this foundation.
What I liked:
- Good colour match! bareMinerals has 20 shades and the lightest one, “Bare Porcelain 01”, was light enough for me which hardly ever happens with liquid foundation. And it didn’t oxidize or darken after applied.
- Squeeze bottle. Very sanitary!
- Didn’t irritate my skin or cause any breakouts.
What I disliked:
- The smell! It has an indescribable, unpleasant smell in my opinion.
- Greasy, oily texture. I didn’t like the texture of this foundation at all. It reminded me of trying to rub in greasy sunblock. Even after shaking it well, it almost seemed like the ingredients were trying to separate.
- The brush. The Perfecting Face Brush didn’t do it for me. No amount of “circular motions” could get this stuff to look blended and streak free. Once I gave up on the brush and switched to my Beauty Blender sponge, I had better luck. SKIP THE BRUSH!
- Difficult to apply/blend. Even with the Beauty Blender, this foundation took a lot of work to look blended and natural. I didn’t particularly like how it sat on my skin.
As you’ve probably guessed, this foundation was a “miss” for me. I have tried to make it work, but I just don’t care for it. The bareMinerals powder foundation is amazing, but I am disappointed by their liquid foundation.
I paid $29 USD for the foundation and $28 USD for the brush. In Canada, the foundation is $36 CAD and the brush is $35 CAD.
SUBSCRIBER GIVEAWAY: If any of my fair-skinned subscribers would like to try this, I would be happy to mail you the foundation and brush for free (Canadian addresses only please). I’m not going to use it, so I’d love to be able to pass it on, and maybe you will like it better than I did! First subscriber to leave me a comment, it’s yours! [UPDATE: It’s been claimed]
Thanks for stopping by ❤
Nerdy Librarian Girl
This is my light-hearted “warning” about Forever Flawless. While we were walking through the Cosmopolitan, a lady standing outside a shop handed us each a free sample of moisturizer in a little diamond shaped package. She told us she would also give us a sample of their undereye serum and the next thing we knew we were sitting in chairs while another sales person was slathering us with creams and demonstrating exfoliators for us, which I have to say were impressive.
He told us a year’s supply of a complete set of diamond infused skincare (which was three products) used by celebrities like Celine Dion and Mila Kunis was $399 USD. We had no intention of paying that, and as we started to leave, suddenly the price started dropping and he kept adding on additional products at no extra charge. To make a long story short, in the end my friend left with a big bag of about 5 or 6 products (including make-up remover, cleanser, undereye serum, moisturizer, etc.) for $200, and I left with the Diamond Infused Facial Peeling Gel and Diamond Infused Cleansing Complex for $100. This sales guy was good! Plus, we had also recently been enjoying breakfast mimosas. We decided right then and there: Don’t take “free” samples in Vegas! lol.
When I got home, I googled Forever Flawless, a Las Vegas-based company, and saw that the price of the Facial Peeling Gel is $179 USD and the Cleansing Complex $99 USD, although I have no idea if anyone is going on the website and actually paying that. So I got nearly $200 off?
I also found several reviews claiming that the products are a “scam” and dangerous, not FDA approved, cause rashes, etc. So I read the packaging very carefully. Its made in the USA, and I researched every single ingredient, and each one was an approved, commonly used ingredient considered safe and non-sensitizing (i.e should not cause an allergic reaction). It doesn’t contain real gold (which you apparently shouldn’t put on your skin). The “karat gold pigment” is simply mica which is in many, many cosmetic products. One site warned about the “dangers” of diamond powder, but that is literally from eating it or inhaling it – I’m really not worried about it being dissolved in a liquid or gel cosmetic.
So, if you have, like me, purchased Forever Flawless products and then were fairly alarmed after googling the reviews, relax. We
probably certainly over-payed for them, but they aren’t dangerous. They contain ingredients found in just about every other cosmetic. I’m actually really enjoying the Facial Peeling Gel which I think is a pretty effective and gentle exfoliator. I have sensitive skin and have not had any reaction to the products.
Does diamond powder have “exceptional powers and miraculous therapeutic abilities” as Forever Flawless claims? Probably not. But, I’ve bought plenty of other products with hyped special ingredients (I’m looking at you Amazonian clay, argon oil, hyaluronic acid, mineral makeup, to name a few) that may or may not be effective, and have never felt “scammed”. My friend and I decided we have a funny Vegas story plus some skincare products that we are definitely going to use up (since we payed so much for them!).
Have you ever had an experience like ours?
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Nerdy Librarian Girl
What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas…except sunburns. Before I left, I stocked up on my favourite sunscreens so I could enjoy a poolside margarita in the hot, sunny desert without burning to a crisp.
Some sunscreens can make me break out, so I’m always careful to use a good quality sunscreen made specifically for the face. This summer, I’m using Ombrelle SPF60 Face Ultra-Fluid Lotion which is non-comedogenic and fragrance free. Its light and absorbs quickly so its great for wearing under makeup. Price: $12.74 CAD.
For the rest of my skin, I’m using Coppertone Oil Free SPF60 Sunscreen Lotion. It’s hypoallergenic, lightweight, non-comedogenic, and is “PABA, paraben, fragrance, and dye free”. I’ve used this one for years and its never irritated my skin and is light and non-greasy. Added bonus: it’s also waterproof. Price: $11.99 CAD.
When you’re out and about and need to reapply, it’s really handy to have a spray-on sunscreen so you don’t get it all over your hands. I picked up the Neutrogena Ultra-Sheer Body Mist SPF45 to have in my bag to spray on during the day especially on parts that burn super easily like my shoulders and chest. The Neutrogena is oil-free, light and non-greasy. It does have a slight fragrance, but it isn’t your typical coconut suntan lotion scent, thankfully. Price: $12.99 CAD.
Hope this helps you stay un-sunburned this summer!
I won’t be able to post much while I’m here in Vegas, but I’ll be doing some shopping and hope to have lots to blog about when I get back next week. I hope you’re all having a great summer!
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Nerdy Librarian Girl
Let me just start by saying I do not tan. I literally cannot tan. I turn bright red and then go back to white again. I remember in the 1990s when suddenly “self-tanning” or “sunless tanning” lotions were all the rage. I’ll admit, I tried them. What I remember about them is 1. they smelled awful, and 2. they turned my skin an unattractive, patchy and uneven carrot-orange colour. I’d essentially given up on tanners completely.
Then, a lot of people started buzzing about Jergens Natural Glow, which claims to have “no odour” and to “gradually create flawless, natural-looking color”. I am leaving for very hot and sunny Las Vegas today (hooray!), so in preparation for my trip I decided to give this new generation sunless tanner, a mix of both moisturizer and self-tanner, a try.
I can’t agree with the “no odour” claim. It definitely has much LESS of that weird self-tanner smell, but during the day I kept getting slight hints of self-tanner aroma. I have to admit it wasn’t that bad though. I would describe it as “low odour”.
But did it work on my uber-pale skin? It actually did. It applied very easily and was completely streak-free (except for my feet). Just like it claimed, the colour developed very gradually over a couple of weeks and is very subtle. It worked really well on my arms and legs. I applied regular moisturizer over my knees and elbows first and as Jergens advised, used “sparingly” on knees, elbows and ankles. The only place it looks patchy is on my feet.
I don’t think anyone would describe me as “tanned” but my once stark white skin is now glowier and slightly more golden-bronzier, and best of all NOT orange. What more could this pale nerd ask for? 🙂
Jergens Natural Glow is $11.99 CAD and is available in most Canadian drugstores (I picked mine up at Lawton’s Drugs).
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Nerdy Librarian Girl
While I was on vacation in British Columbia, my skin was super dry. I popped in to a London Drugs in search of a hydrating mask, and the sales assistant recommended Avene Soothing Moisture Mask for Sensitive Skin. It does have a very slight scent, but Avene says the fragrance is “tolerated by sensitive skin”. I have not experienced any irritation. Its also preservative-free, hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic.
The directions say to leave on for 15 minutes, but I have been leaving it on overnight. My skin is dry enough that after 15 minutes it has pretty much soaked in completely. I wake up the next morning with soft, hydrated skin.
Avene recommends using it once or twice a week. It is very rich and although 72% thermal spring water , it does contain safflower oil. I have only been using it once a week or once every two weeks. I haven’t had any breakouts, but I don’t think if you are acne prone that you would want to use it too frequently. It is a really great mask for dry, sensitive skin.
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Nerdy Librarian Girl
I have been using goat’s milk soap for years. If you have sensitive or dry skin, soap made with goat’s milk is much gentler and moisturizing than soap made with water. The important thing is to find soap made with fresh, liquid goat’s milk, not processed or powdered like some of the mass-produced brands in the drugstore. Goat’s milk is very beneficial for your skin. It contains natural alpha-hydroxy acids that help remove dead skin cells, vitamin A, and the high fat content makes it super moisturizing. It won’t dry your skin like regular soaps will.
I would find hand-made goat’s milk soap in specialty shops or farmers markets. Then, about 2 years ago while I was in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, I went to a farmer’s market and found, literally, the best goat’s milk soap ever!
Slice Soapworks is run by a lovely lady named Terri-Lynn who I met at the market. She has a farm in Falmouth, Nova Scotia, where she raises her own adorable goats and even keeps her own bees to make honey to add to her soaps. My two favourites are her fragrance-free Goat Milk & Oatmeal soap with honey and certified organic oats (which smells naturally AMAZING all on its own) and her Honey, I Love You! soap imprinted with a honey comb pattern on the top.
The Slice Soapworks website is currently undergoing a make-over, but you can order soaps by simply sending them an email and arranging payment through Paypal. That’s what I do. These all-natural, hand-made soaps are $5.00 CAD.
I thought I’d leave you with some pictures of the actual goats borrowed from their blog. Look how frickin cute they are!
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I have sensitive skin that’s also fairly dry. I’m always searching for good moisturizers that won’t irritate my skin or, if I’m using it on my face, won’t cause breakouts. Here are some of my favourites:
- Complex 15: This is my go-to moisturizer for my face that I use daily. Its water-based (so it won’t cause breakouts), lightweight, and fragrance-free. It was actually recommended by my dermatologist. I’ve been using it for years. Its available at most Canadian drugstores (Shoppers Drugmart, London Drugs, Lawtons Drugs), Walmart, and online through well.ca. Its also very inexpensive. PRICE: $7.99-$9.99 CAD
- Impruv Cream: Specifically for dry, sensitive skin it contains no dyes, perfumes or preservatives. It has shea butter which can be a little rich, so I don’t use this one daily. But it is great in winter or on those days when my skin needs extra hydration. I get mine at Shoppers Drug Mart. Its also available online through well.ca. PRICE: $16.50 CAD
- Oilatum Cream: Made for the treatment of eczema and dry skin conditions, Oilatum is fragrance-free and contains 6% light liquid paraffin and 15% white soft paraffin. I picked this up while I was in England and its my favourite hand cream. I love the way the paraffin feels. Oilatum is a UK brand and sadly its been discontinued in Canada, but it is available on amazon.ca. PRICE: $13.28 CAD
- Bio-Oil: Advertised to “improve the appearance of scars and stretch marks”, I have no idea if Bio-Oil can actually do that, but it sure can moisturize. I really like using this on my elbows and feet. Its does have some fragrance, but hasn’t irritated my skin. Its available at most Canadian drugstores (Shoppers Drugmart, London Drugs, Lawtons Drugs), Walmart, and online through well.ca. PRICE: $12.99 CAD
- Bioderma Sensibio Light: Water-based, preservative-free and fragrance-free, I tried this after I started using Bioderma Sensibio H2O (love it!). Bioderma is available at Shoppers Drug Mart and online through Murale. PRICE: $29.95 CAD
Do you have a favourite moisturizer for sensitive skin?
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