Beauty Of The Vine

I’ll be perfectly honest – there are very few things I love more than wine. I adore wine. Unwinding after work with a glass full of pinot grigio or merlot is pretty much the highlight of my day. Aside from it’s delicious taste and ability to help us relax, wine is also packed full of antioxidants and other skin-beautifying properties. Everyone knows that a glass of red wine a day is good for your health, but who knew that it could do wonders for your skin as well? From diminishing the signs of aging to deeply hydrating and evening out one’s skin tone, there’s very little that this magical elixir can’t do beauty-wise. Now, I’m not suggesting that we all go home and start chugging cabernet sauvignon by the bottle (that will only leave you looking ruddy and bloated), but these six wine-infused products pack all of the beneficial vitamins and antioxidants as our favorite beverage, but with none of the calories or, ahem, other side effects. So here’s to having more vino in our lives, in our glasses and on our faces. Bottom’s up.

WINE BEAUTY PICKS

wine-infused-beauty-products

1 // Vine Vera Resveratrol Skin Care – Merlot Collection Moisture Day Cream

Drawing skin-perfecting power from wine’s magic component – resveratrol – this splurge-worthy moisturizing cream deeply hydrates and evens out one’s skin tone. If you’re looking for a powerful anti aging cream that will even out discolouration, this is your best bet.

2 // DeAge – Red Wine Essence

Anything that claims to be the essence of wine has instantly captured my attention. Just a drop or two will penetrate deeply into the layers of your skin, improving tone, texture and elasticity. It also feels super luxurious and absorbs instantly!

3 // TONYMOLY – Pore Care Red Wine Sheet Face Mask

What could be more indulgent than sipping a glass of wine while donning a face mask? Well, this wine-fused sheet mask is here to answer that question. With antioxidant rich jasmine juice and resveratrols from red wine, this inexpensive mask works better than a ton of masks from luxury brands!

4 // Arcona – Wine Oil (Repair AM/PM)

Nothing quenches thirsty skin better than a facial oil, especially if it’s loaded with ultra-nourishing grape seed oil and extract. This lightweight oil is like food for your face with all of the proteins, carbohydrates, fats and polyphenols your skin needs to be healthy and radiant! It’s a splurge, but it’s worth every penny.

5 // Labiotte – Chateau Wine Lip Balm

Your lips will love the silky texture of this balm – not to mention the just-bitten berry hue! This moisturizing formula is enriched with hydrating grape seed oil and Chateau Margaux wine extract, which acts as a natural chemical exfoliant. If satin-smooth, lush lips are your beauty MO (and really, why wouldn’t they be), then this luxe balm is an instant add-to-cart!

6 // Holika Holika – Wine Therapy Sleeping Masks (White & Red Wine)

Whether you’re more of a red or white wine kind of gal, there’s a sleeping mask for you! First, the wine barrel-inspired packaging is adorable. Second, these masks smell delicious. Third, they actually do what they are supposed to. If you’re looking to reduce fine lines and discolouration, slather on a bit of the red mask. Is hydration your concern? A little bit of the white mask will do the trick in no time. If you’re feeling saucy, double dip both masks to address both issues at the same time!

Have you tried any wine skincare products? What were your thoughts on the results? Let me know what you think!

xoxo,

Alicia

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Au Naturel

I have a ton of beauty products littering my life, ahem, vanity. Despite this fact, every now and then I like to put my Martha Stewart pants on and mix up my own skin elixirs using time tested natural ingredients, most of which can be found in my kitchen. What’s great about making one’s own beauty products, aside from it being a lot of fun, is that you can decide exactly what goes in it. This means that there will be no nasty preservatives or cheap, irritating ingredients coming in contact with your skin (mineral oil is the WORST and is in so many store bought moisturizers). You can also customize your potions to better suit your skin type, whether you have ultra sensitive skin or your complexion is a little more on the oily side. Below are four of my go-to beauty DIYs. They can all be made in five minutes out of four ingredients or less. So slice up some cucumber for your eyes, light a scented candle, and pamper yourself with an at home spa day.

matcha-rose-yogurt-face-mask

1 // Matcha Rose Face Mask

Matcha (finely ground green tea) is chock full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that your skin loves. Rosewater is a natural humectant (draws moisture into the skin, keeping it hydrated) and has anti-aging and antibacterial properties that keeps your skin soft, supple, and youthful. Plain yogurt is incredibly soothing and helps to hydrate your skin while calming redness. This mask is very gentle and excellent for all skin types, especially sensitive skin. I like to do a mask like this two or three times a week to keep it in tip-top shape.

Things You’ll Need

  • 1 tsp rose water
  • 2 tbsp matcha powder
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl until the mask turns a pale green and is a creamy consistency. Spread it evenly over your face and leave on for 15 minutes before removing with a warm washcloth. Rinse your face with cold water and apply a light moisturizer to lock in the hydrating effects of the mask. Easy peasy.

honey-lemon-sugar-scrub

2 // Honey Lemon Sugar Scrub

Honey has natural antibacterial and moisturizing properties, making it an excellent ingredient for fighting both acne and dry, flaky skin (combination complexions, this is your holy grail). Brown sugar softens skin and sloughs away blockages and dead cells, while olive oil deeply hydrates. Lemon juice is great for balancing oil production while brightening dull, tired skin. This scrub can be used on the face and the body. If your skin is sensitive, ease up on the lemon juice as it can be irritating for temperamental complexions. This is great for deep cleansing the skin, keeping it looking glowy and radiant. Because of the astringent lemon juice and scrubby sugar, I would not use this scrub more frequently than once or twice a week.

Things You’ll Need

  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Enough olive oil to get a fluffy consistency

Combine ingredients in a bowl until you get a fluffy, snow-like consistency. Customize the mixture depending on your skin type – if your skin is dry, add more honey and olive oil, if your skin is oily, add extra lemon juice. Apply the mixture to your skin in gentle, circular motions. Rinse off with warm water and pat dry. Apply a light lotion to make your skin even more soft. Your face will feel like a baby’s tush, no joke.

balancing-witch-hazel-lavender-chamomille-toner

3 // Balancing Witch Hazel Toner

Toner is an important, but all too often skipped step in most people’s beauty regimes. This simple version only has three ingredients but powerfully cleanses the skin without stripping it of its natural oils. Witch hazel, a potent natural material in many clarifying skincare products, helps to kill acne-causing bacteria while balancing oil production. Lavender soothes the skin while acting as a mild astringent, and chamomile tea calms redness and irritation. Use this toner before bed to prep your skin for your moisturizer. Get ready to say ‘bye felicia’ to your pimples.

Things You’ll Need

  • 1 cup of witch hazel
  • 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 1/2 cup of chamomile tea (brewed and cooled)

Mix all of the ingredients well and strain into an air-tight bottle. Keep your toner stored in the fridge to keep it fresh – plus keeping it cold adds to the tingly-clean sensation you will feel when you use it. After cleansing, apply it to your face with a cotton ball. Don’t rinse it off and allow it to sink it before applying your moisturizer. This is my favorite toner and I find it really helps to ward off pimples, even during shark week when my hormones make me breakout like cray.

coconut-argan-hair-mask

4 // Coconut Argan Hair Mask

If you have dry or curly hair like mine, this deeply hydrating mask is a god-send. Even if you don’t, it will help to keep your stresses glossy and softer than a baby bunny. I’ll tell you right now, the consistency is gross and it doesn’t smell great. I hate the smell of raw egg, but it is incredibly nourishing and helps to smooth the hair follicles while strengthening your strands and preventing breakages. Coconut and argan oil are also fantastic lightweight moisturizers that penetrate deeply into each strand, keeping your hair hydrated and unbelievable shiny. I use this mask once or twice a month (although I could stand to use it more) and it totally bans frizz, keeping my mane smooth and silky. I am also very prone to split-ends and this mask really prevents my strands from breaking, meaning that my hair stays a lot healthier in between hair cuts. It is worth braving the slightly unpleasant smell, and after you wash it out you will be rewarded with gorgeous, mermaid hair. You simply have to suck it up and let your hair soak it up.

Things You’ll Need

  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp argan oil
  • 1 egg

Melt the coconut oil in the microwave so that it is a liquid consistency. Whisk it together with a whole egg and the argan oil and apply to your hair, focusing especially on the ends. Wrap your head in a shower cap (or towel if that’s all you have) and let the mask soak in for 30 mins to an hour. Afterwards, wash the mask out of your hair and shampoo and condition as you normally would. After using this mask, I like to apply leave in conditioner to enhance its hydrating effects. That being said, you don’t need to, and if your hair is oily you would be better off skipping it. Let your hair air dry and resist the urge to make everyone around you touch your silky soft hair.

What did you think of these DIYs? Do you have any all natural beauty recipes you would like to share? Let me know in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia

Top 5 Favorite Face Masks

Sure, I love pedicures, massages, and getting my hair done. I like to indulge in a lot of different beauty treatments and feel that taking care of oneself goes a long way into making a person feel overall happier. When you look good, you feel good and everyone should take the time to pamper themselves. Even if it’s just once or twice a month. My favorite beauty indulgence? Face masks, hands down. There’s nothing that I love more than slapping on a face mask, lighting some candles or incense, and kicking back with some Netflix or a good book. Literally, that is my idea of heaven. While there are a lot of masks out there that I like, some are more effective than others. These are the five face masks that I feel work the best for my skin. Some cost a pretty penny (Herbivore products are pricey but oh-so-luxe and lovely) while others are a steal of a deal. I recommend them all but make sure to read the product descriptions because everyone’s skin is unique and needs special treatment.


1 // LUSH – Love Lettuce Fresh Face Mask

With lavender, seaweed, kaolin, and scrubby crushed almond shells, Love Lettuce is a nourishing, cleansing mask that instantly gives my complexion a fresh, revitalized glow. Plus, I love the soothing, herbaceous, lavender scent.

2 // BioRepublic – Cucumber Breeze Sheet Mask

I don’t use sheet masks a lot because I find that they don’t normally fit my face (I get the serum in my eyes and all over my mouth). This one, however, I love. It’s cooling and hydrating with soothing essences of cucumber. It’s great for infusing some extra moisture into my dry skin in the fall and winter!

3 // Glam Glow – Super Mud Clearing Treatment

Breakouts don’t stand a chance against this ultra cleansing mask! Active-X charcoal lifts impurities out of skin while the mud soaked up excess oil. It has a sweet, licorice smell that I really enjoy and seeing the mask soak up the oil (patches of oil will be visible in the mud when you are wearing this mask) is super gross but very satisfying. With celebrity fans like Nina Dobrev and even Michael Buble, this gem is definitely worth the splurge.

4 // Herbivore – Brighten Pineapple Enzyme + Gemstone Instant Glow Mask

Papaya and pineapple enzymes, rose, and Brazilian white tourmaline gemstone are a few of the powerhouse ingredients in this luxurious mask that make it worth the splurge. It tingles a little upon application but makes the skin look baby soft and so healthy afterward. If you feel like treating yourself to something extra special, this jewel of a mask is like nothing else.

5 // Fresh – Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask

I love tea in everything and this antioxidant-rich mask is no exception. Chock full of black tea ferment, black tea extract, and blackberry leaf, this night-time mask is filled with vitamins and supposedly works with the skin’s natural nighttime recovery process to leave skin looking firm, supple, and bright. I love using masks while I am sleeping because I feel that my skin has such a long period of time to soak up all of the goodness the mask has to offer! This one feels light and airy but is seriously hydrating with real results. My skin looks more even, my pores are tighter, and my skin has a hydrated, bouncy appearance after I use this mask! A definite keeper.

Have you tried any of these? What are your favorite masks? Let’s talk beauty in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia

June Beauty Picks

junebeautypicks

As the weather gets sunnier and my schedule gets busier, my beauty routine has changed to reflect the warmer weather and my new need for efficiency. Whereas I used to have more time to spend getting ready in the mornings, as work has gotten busier, I have found myself choosing a few more minutes of sleep over any extra primping. Multi-tasking products have become my go-to. My skin has always been fairly dehydrated and I find that the summer heat and sun leads my complexion to be a little more prone to breakouts as my skin produces extra oil to combat the dryness. I find that taking a more elaborate, targeted approach to my skincare routine with a focus on deep hydration helps to keep my skin healthy and balanced. I have also found myself to be particularly intrigued by Asian beauty products after reading rave reviews about their many benefits in terms of hydration, anti-aging and overall skin health. I am a complete beauty product junkie and am always looking to try new things. Here are the five products that have become mainstays in my beauty routine.

1. Stila Convertible Colour Compact in Petunia

With a rich, creamy texture and a feminine rosey hue that flatters every skin tone, this compact by Stila works as both a lip and cheek stain, creating a dewy, natural looking flush. Simply toss it in your purse and use it as needed to keep your complexion fresh and glowing all day.

2. Parlor by Jeff Chastain Moisturizing Sea Salt Spray

This sea-salt, sweet almond and algae extract infused spray created by celebrity hair stylist Jeff Chastain, creates textured, tousled waves while still keeping your hair hydrated and shiny. A few spritzes of this and you will look like you have spent the day at the beach. Bonus: its fruity-fresh smell is absolutely delicious and will evoke thoughts of tropical beaches and fruity cocktails.

3. The Face Shop Real Nature Green Tea Mask Sheet 

Sheet face masks have been gaining recognition on beauty websites and blogs for being more effective than standard cream, clay and gel masks. Unlike other masks, the formulas that are on the back of sheet masks are more like serums and are usually much lighter but much more potent.The masks (with cut-out holes for your eyes nose and mouth) are often made with soft cotton fibres and because they keep the formula close to the skin, the masks are able to penetrate deeper into the skin and whatever benefits the masks have (hydration, brightening, firming, clarifying) are enhanced. I love this one from The Face Shop. This green-tea infused mask is loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants and is perfect for brightening dry, dull skin. It also smells great and is soothing after a long day spent in the sun.

4. Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels

I discovered these cooling, soothing eye gels in my Birchbox and absolutely loved them. I subscribed to Birchbox so that I would be able to test out products that I might not choose on my own. These eye gels are an example of something that I would never have sought out but that I am happy I discovered. As a night owl and workaholic, sleep is something that I could always get more of. With Icelandic glacial water, these gels de-puff, tone and revitalize, tired eyes creating the look of a good nights rest in only ten minutes. I would use these once or twice a week, in the morning after a long night, before a night out or anytime I need a pick me up.

5. Ayala Moriel Film Noir 3 in 1 Cleansing Bar

These sweetly scented, cleansing bars created in collaboration by Vancouver-based perfumer Ayala Moriel and Oregon-based soap company Open Source, will simplify your bath and shower routine while leaving your body with a luxurious, cocoa, myrrh and patchouli fragrance (also available as a perfume of the same name). Coconut, castor, and palm oil nourish and moisturize skin and hair while creating a rich enough lather to be used as a shaving foam. My hair is naturally curly and prone to humidity induced frizz and dryness in the summer time. Using Film Noir soap in lieu of my normal shampoo keeps my curls smooth, hydrated and bouncy and my skin supple and moisturized. It’s also a great item to stash in one’s travel bag when packing for vacation (who needs a collection of shampoos and body washes leaking all over the inside of one’s suitcase?). I find one bar lasts me at least a month of washes. It’s also a nice feeling purchasing from Ayala because you know that every item is made from the highest quality of ingredients and is made lovingly by hand as anyone who has met Ayala knows that she is a complete perfectionist in everything that she sets out to do.

Have you tried any of these products? What are your favorite beauty products right now? Let me know in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia