February Beauty Picks

I love February for a few reasons. One – it’s the end of January which is the worst month of the year (it’s right after Christmas and right before Valentine’s Day and spring – it’s a total limbo). Two – it’s when my boyfriend and I celebrate our anniversary and I love cheesy, romantic, Valentine’s Day B.S (sue me). Three – I love that I can gradually transition my winter wardrobe and beauty routine into spring. Sure, the weather is still freezing, but things start to feel more cheerful. Pink lipstick, shiny glosses, shimmery highlighters, soft and even skin – it’s feminine and relaxed. My February beauty routine is very natural but cheerful. A touch of mascara, a dab of colour corrector and a swipe of rosé or cherry lipstick and I’m ready to go. The five products below are my absolute favourites right now. From a light but quenching moisturizer to a skin-saving primer – take it from me, you are going to want to check all of these goodies out!


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1 // Cake Beauty – Milk Made Velveteen Hand Cream

I can’t stand having dry hands (or feet, knees or elbows) and winter wreaks havoc on my skin. I picked up a tube of this in Shoppers and instantly fell in love with its light but hydrating texture and subtle scent of candied oats. With rich, vegan ingredients like marshmallow root, mango and shea butter, it leaves my hands silky and soothed. It also smells yummy – like vanilla rice pudding or steamed vanilla milk.

2 // Caudalie – Instant Detox Mask

Ahhh Caudalie. If there is ever a mask worth splurging on it’s this beauty. A thin layer of this pink elixir is all it takes to suck the gunk out of my pores like a magnet (especially the blackheads in my nose). It is filled with detoxifying ingredients such as pink clay, lavender, coffee and papaya enzymes and smells amazing with all natural essential oils. One use was enough to make me notice that my skin was more even and my pores were smaller but regular use is seriously transformational.

3 // Morning Glamour – Black Satin Pillow Case

For years I had read that a silk or satin pillow case was the key to keeping your skin and hair wrinkle and tangle free but I had never been sold. Flash forward to a couple weeks ago when I found this pillow case on sale. At only $10 I thought, why not? I am glad I bought it because it is so luxurious sleeping on a cool, silky pillow. I also have noticed that my bed head is significantly less crazy. Will it reduce my wrinkles? We will see. But it’s worth getting just because of how delightful it feels to sleep on. Now I feel like Holly Golightly from ‘Breakfast At Tiffany’s’ when I am snoozing.

4 // Scentuals – Neroli Twist Roll-On Perfume

I love to smell good and have a perfume collection that counts well over a hundred scents (I am insane, I know). I like to keep minis and roll-ons on hand just to touch up during the day and this natural neroli fragrance has become a favourite of mine. The perfect mix of floral and earthy, it’s a heady blend of neroli, ylang-ylang, bergamot and lavender. It’s elegant but casual enough for everyday. It reminds me of being in a forest in the springtime and has me daydreaming of sunnier days.

5 // Indeed – Nanoblur Colour Corrector in Green

I don’t like to wear foundation or primer unless I’ve got some kind of event to go to. Most formulas feel too heavy and I don’t like an overly matte finish. I like a little dew and for my natural skin to show through. This green tinted cream came across my radar when I was looking for a new BB cream and I was instantly intrigued by its promise to reduce redness while reducing inflammation. I’ve always been fairly pink and I loved the idea of evening out my complexion without caking on skin coloured paste. This goes on light as air and blends in seamlessly, transforming from mint green to a beautiful even finish in seconds. I wear this everyday and it feels like I’m wearing nothing at all. I also feel like it has made my skin less red when I’m wearing no makeup at all! For a smooth, even, hydrated face, this nourishing colour corrector is a god-send. Don’t be scared of the green colour – it neutralizes the pink in your skin and blends into your natural skin colour way better than a traditional foundation or bb cream! If you are like me and have skin that tends to get a bit ruddy, this is a fabulous product.

What beauty treasures are you obsessed with right now? Let me know in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia

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Best & Worst Of LUSH

If you’ve read a few of my Beauty Picks posts, you know that I love LUSH Cosmetics – I mean, I feature a LUSH gem in almost every one of those roundups! I know a few of you are as obsessed as me (I love when you guys comment – please, keep them coming!), so I wanted to do an official ranking of my favourite and least favourite LUSH products. From my favourite cleanser of all time (it’s been my holy grail for the last four years) to a shampoo that literally makes me look like I have extreme dandruff due to an inexplicable addition of shredded coconut to its formula (why though?), these are the best and worst LUSH products according to me.

THE BEST

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1 // Angels On Bare Skin Face & Body Cleanser

Unlike other scrubby exfoliants that can create micro tears, irritating skin and kicking your complexion’s oil production into overdrive, Angels ever-so-gently polishes away dead skin and blockages using ground almonds, lavender buds and kaolin clay. It leaves my face feeling like silk and is gentle enough to use everyday. Also, its heavenly blend of lavender and rose essential oils do more than smell amazing – they also soothe your skin while reducing redness. Truly a skincare elixir sent from above!

2 // R&B Hair Moisturizer

My hair is very curly and thick and so all of my hair products are about hydration. I swear, I could saturate my hair in straight up oil and my strands would just slurp it up and be frizzy a few hours later. This incredibly luxe cream is chock full of delish ingredients like cupuacu butter, avocado butter, olive oil and oat milk and makes my hair shiny and soft for at least an entire day. Also, the fact that is smells like orange blossom – one of my favourite flowers – is an added bonus. A little bit goes a long way and this stuff really works.

3 // The Comforter Bubble Bar

I’ve tried a bunch of bubble bars from LUSH but none come close to this gem. It smells like pure heaven – like cassis and cream to be exact. I also love that a bar lasts way longer than conventional bubble bath. Simply break off a piece and crumble it into running water for rich, luxurious black currant scented bubbles. If these are ever pulled from the shelves I am going to straight up weep.

4 // The American Cream Conditioner

The conundrum I always face is that I want a conditioner that hydrates my unruly curls without leaving my hair limp and greasy. This balance is tough to find but The American Cream has it nailed. It smells like a comforting bowl of strawberries and cream (my mom used to give me cut up strawberries with milk and a sprinkle of sugar as a child) and deeply nourishes each strand leaving your hair shiny and healthy looking but still light and bouncy.

5 // Rosy Cheeks Fresh Face Mask

If you have sensitive skin that is prone to redness and irritation like mine, then this rose-scented creamy mask will be your new best friend. I love it because it has the texture and absorbency of a clay mask with the soothing benefits of calamine and rose petal infusion. On days when I am breaking out or my face is dull and splotchy, this is a miracle worker. Also, because it’s fresh it has to be kept in the fridge which makes putting it on such a refreshing, luxurious experience.

THE WORST

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1 // Love Lettuce Fresh Face Mask

Now discontinued, Love Lettuce used to be one of LUSH’s best selling masks. At first glance, it’s not hard to see why. It smells like lavender, it has an absorbent clay texture and it goes on looking like a classic green face mask from an old-school slumber party. Some people love it but I am not one of those people. While I can get behind the seaweed, lavender and kaolin that is packed into this formula, its the ultra-abrasive crushed almond shells that rub me the wrong way – literally. I mean, think about it. Those pieces are sharp! If you crushed an almond shell, would you rub that on your face? The jagged edges create micro-tears in the skin, making your face a breeding ground for bacteria. Think acne, discolouration, redness – all things we are trying to avoid. If the exfoliant was a little more gentle, I would like this product. But I just can’t get behind sand papering my face with sharp nut shells.

2 // Curly Wurly Shampoo

Riddle me this – in what world is it necessary or beneficial to have clumps of shredded coconut in your shampoo? Not only does it do nothing but get tangled up in my curls and clog my drain, but it is damn near impossible to rinse out and makes it look I have extreme dandruff. The proof was on my boyfriend’s horrified face when I got out of the shower and he wordlessly pointed at my head. And why wouldn’t he look shocked? There were literal chunks of coconut in my hair. It looked like I had suddenly sprouted rampant scalp fungus. Yes this smells good and yes it has a bunch of great ingredients (coconut oil, shea butter, avocado oil, papaya and jojoba oil), but that shredded coconut ruins the party in a big way. Unless you want to look like your scalp is flaking off your skull, I would give this a seriously hard pass.

3 // Lust Perfume

I like jasmine but it’s a perfume note that I prefer in small quantities. It is a very strong white floral scent and too much of it can be incredibly overpowering and heavy. Lust is centred around ‘carnal’ jasmine and, ahem, it smells toooo carnal for me, Like, it has an almost salty, body-odour smell that I am just not down for. I have never smelled a jasmine perfume that has reminded me of sweat before, but that’s what I get from this. If smelling like sweaty sex in a seventies night club bathroom is your jam, then have at it. This is just not my cup of tea.

4 // Any Of The Lip Scrubs

Okay, so it’s not like there is anything really wrong with these scrubs per-se, I just think they are a total waste of money. These scrubs are comprised of sugar and oil – two ingredients most people already have in their pantries. And why do we need to scrub our lips with sugar? It’s a lot easier to smooth chapped lips with a damp wash cloth or tooth brush. Also, the description for these scrubs encourage the user to ‘lick off the excess sugar’. MMM – dead skin and dyed sugar. Colour me grossed out.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia

DIY Exfoliating Pumpkin Face Mask

Face masks are truly one of my favourite indulgences. While there are a bunch of masks I love (especially LUSH’s Oatifix and Sand & Sky’s Australian Pink Clay Mask), it is fun, and cost-effective, to make your own. This fall-inspired formula is one of my favourite recipes. With enzyme-rich pumpkin purée to exfoliate, yogurt and oatmeal to soothe, honey to moisturize and lavender to clarify, it leaves my skin silky and noticeably brighter. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself! You will be hooked.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Tbsp Pumpkin Purée
  • 2 Tbsp Organic Plain Yogurt
  • 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Absolute
  • 1 Tsp Liquid Honey
  • 1 Tbsp Oatmeal
  • 1/2 Tsp Lavender Essential Oil
  • liquid-honey-Face-Mask pumpkin-purée-Face-Mask-diydoterra-Lavender-Essential-Oil-Face-Mask
  • DIRECTIONS

    1 // Measure out your ingredients and add them to a bowl.

    2 // Mix well until the mask is a smooth, easy-to-spread paste. If it’s too thick, add a little bit more yogurt and pumpkin purée. If it’s too runny, add more oatmeal. Easy-peasy.

    3 // Spread a thin layer over your face and leave it on for 15 minutes.

    4 // Wash the mask off and admire your smooth and silky face! Dab on a bit of your favorite moisturizer to lock in some hydration.

    And voila! This is a super easy-to-make mask and it’s incredibly nourishing and exfoliating. It also smells ah-maaazing. Give it a try and then immediately report back on how much you love it (or hate it, but I doubt it).

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    October Beauty Picks

    When you lead a busy life, it is easy to forget to take time for self-care. Although it may seem frivolous, a little luxury goes a long way in terms of improving the quality of your life and adding a little magic into an otherwise mundane day. Right now I am reaching for products that are not only effective, but are fun to use. From luxe textures and playful packaging to delicious smells, all of these five products are a pleasure to use while creating real results. Because, like in life, your beauty routine should be a happy mix of work and play!

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    1 // C.O. Bigelow – Rose Salve

    This lightly scented salve hydrates with luxe rose extract and deeply moisturizing squalene and jojoba oil. It also leaves a flush of colour that will make your pout look full and pink – like you’ve just been kissed!

    2 // Bath & Bodyworks- Stress Relief Hand Cream

    I can’t get enough of this refreshing blend of zingy eucalyptus and spicy spearmint. I have two bottles of this at all times – on my desk at work and in my purse. I love that it subtly scents my skin while soothing my dry hands with vitamin E and shea butter. Putting it on honestly feels like a little spa ritual.

    3 // City Color Cosmetics – Glow Pro Stellar Highlighting Palette

    Although these highlighters appear to be richly pigmented, each leaves a different kind of shimmering effect on the skin, from dewy to a holographic glow. My favourite shade is Nebula – an icy blue that I dust on the bridge of my nose, tops of my cheeks, brow bones and on my cupid’s bow. It blends into my skin seamlessly and makes my complexion look like that of a sexy alien.

    4 // LUSH – Bûche De Noël Face & Body Cleanser

    I adore LUSH products. They’re high quality, they smell amazing, and they are made with ethical and sustainable practices – what’s not to love? This holiday favourite is no exception. Formulated with face brightening mandarins, antioxidant-packed cranberries, scrubby ground almonds, cleansing kaolin and hydrating cocoa butter, this elixir is a treat to use and leaves my skin soft and glowing. It also smells like a spicy slice of Christmas Cake. Think of it as a confection for your complexion!

    5 // Wander Beauty – Lift Off Purifying & Brightening Peel Off Mask

    A more insta-worthy mask never existed. Not only does this shimmering fuchsia mask look gorgeous on, after 15 minutes your skin will look even more stunning! It’s chock full of yummy, skin-beautifying ingredients such as açai, goji and blueberries, plus antioxidant-rich green tea. Simply apply a thin layer, snap a few pictures and then peel off a while later to reveal brighter, healthier skin.

    Which beauty products are you obsessed with right now? I am always looking for new ideas so let me know in the comments!

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    September Beauty Picks

    There is something in the air in September. More so than January, September feels like a fresh start. A chance to revamp our wardrobes, touch up our beauty routines and work on accomplishing all of those ‘new year, new me’ goals before the year is over. I especially love to overhaul my skincare arsenal during this time of year. After all, the foundation of any beauty routine truly is supple, lit-from-within skin. From a juicy mask that replenishes my sun-parched skin to a rich night cream that stimulates collagen and cell renewal, these are the items that are helping me maintain my healthy complexion from summer through fall and winter. Ready, set, glow.

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    1// Caudalie – Resveratrol [Lift] Night Infusion Cream

    I’ve recently introduced night creams into my routine with the hopes of keeping my skin healthy and youthful for as long as possible. I’m 24 years old but prevention is better than intervention! Caudalie is one of my favourite French brands, thanks to their consistent use of grapeseed oil and resveratrol – the same antioxidant found in grapes and wine (aka the nectar of the Gods). This luxurious formula is a best-seller and for good reason. It goes on rich but sinks in immediately, hydrating without leaving a greasy or sticky film. After putting this on, I woke up to a fresh face that truly looked brighter and more even. It’s a little pricey but, considering I saw results so quickly, I think its totally worth it.

    2 // Colour Pop – Ultra Satin Lip Colour in The Rabbit

    My favourite beauty look this fall is a bare (yet even) complexion with minimal eye makeup and a juicy, vibrant pout. This fuchsia hue has blue undertones that completely flatter my ivory skin tone while bringing it to life. I also love that it goes on liquid and dries to a plush, velvety matte that lasts for ages.

    3 // Cake – Heavy Cream Buttery Sugar Body Balm Scrub

    Polish away dead skin cells with this decadent concoction from Canadian brand Cake Beauty. Chock full of skin-loving ingredients such as shea butter, aloe, and vitamin E, this ultra-hydrating scrub deeply nourishes skin, leaving it as soft as silk instantly. It also smells just like freshly baked French vanilla cake with just a drizzle of caramel.

    4 // Fresh Beauty – Limited-Edition Sugar Peach Hydrating Lip Balm

    Banish chapped lips and leave a pretty peachy tint with this sweetly scented balm. It has a light but creamy texture that feels oh-so luxe. It’s also incredibly moisturizing with ingredients like grapeseed oil and vitamin E. Kissable lips that taste like peaches and cream in 3..2..1.

    5 // LAB For You – Juice Up BlackBerry Mask

    The key to a dewy complexion? Hydration, hydration, hydration. This antioxidant packed sheet mask deeply penetrates the skin, delivering juicy blackberry extracts right where you need it most. Not only is this mask a total moisture bomb, but it also evens out one’s complexion when used over time. Whether it’s mask Monday or a lazy Friday night, you’ll want to slap one of these bad boy on your face a few times a week.

    What beauty products have you been falling in love with lately? Let’s chat in the comments xo.

    xoxo,

    Alicia

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    July Beauty Picks

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    This summer my beauty routine has been all about clear, hydrated skin, punchy lip colours, and SPF, SPF, SPF! Keep scrolling to see which skincare item banished my breakouts, and which makeup product I can’t stop pulling out of my makeup bag. Beach goddess beauty essentials in 5, 4, 3, 2………

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    1 // Doucce – Luscious Lip Stain in Passion Peach

    Light and airy, this highly pigmented stain feels like absolutely nothing on my lips and lasts forever. Seriously. It withstands through my first and second cup of coffee, my breakfast and lunch (with a few kisses from my boyfriend here and there) without needing to be reapplied. It’s a touch drying, but a swipe of lip balm is all that’s needed to remedy this minor flaw. Although Doucce carries a tons of gorgeous shades, I particularly love this face brightening hue – a mix of juicy peach and vibrant coral.

    2 // Nomads Essentials – High Intensity Face Creme

    Some people love essential oils in their skin care, others hate them for a variety of different reasons. Personally, I find that certain oils – witch hazel, tea tree, lavender and neroli – do wonders for the clarity of my complexion. I have been suffering from breakouts on my chin and cheeks for the past couple of months and the introduction of this facial cream, which is packed with beneficial oils like frankincense, rose geranium, lavender, and rose, has completely cleared up my skin. Like I have nary a blemish on my deeply hydrated, silky smooth face. It also smells lovely, like the herbaceous, soothing smell of a spa. It’s all made by hand by a lovely woman on Mayne Island (I’ve met her a bunch of times and she couldn’t be more knowledgable or wonderful) using all natural ingredients. While nothing beats visiting her adorable boutique on Mayne, her online store carries all of her fabulous skin, hair and home products.

    3 // La Roche-Posay – Anthelios Ultra Light SPF 60 Oil Free Sunscreen

    For years I hated putting sunscreen on my face and would avoid it like the plague. So many formulations are thick and greasy, leaving a shiny film on my face. Now as a (slightly) wiser woman in my mid-twenties, I know the importance of wearing an SPF every day. From preventing wrinkles and sunburns to warding off skin cancer, it’s frankly a non-negotiable. Luckily, I found this uber-light formula by La Roche-Posay. It goes on milky without any scent and it absorbs instantly. It’s also a fabulous base for makeup. It’s a little pricier than your average Banana Boat SPF, but it’s totally worth it. Your skin will thank you today and tomorrow.

    4 // City Color Cosmetics – Glow Duo

    I’m as ivory-skinned as they come and I’ve completely given up on the idea of ever obtaining a natural tan (aside from not wanting to suffer the effects of sun damage). That’s why bronzers and highlighters are regular components of my beauty routine. This nifty little duo contains a silky bronzer that mimics a natural sun-kissed glow, as well as a hydrating highlighter that makes you look lit from within. A light dusting of the bronzer with a touch of highlighter on your high points will make you look like a beach babe instantly, without the risk of a sunburn. Slip this into your bag and touch up whenever you need a sunny pick me up.

    5 // Hikari Cosmetics – Cream Pigment Eyeshadow in Envy

    While I usually prefer neutral hues for my eyes, I fell hook, line, and sinker for this shimmery shade which mimics the effect of the ocean waves crashing over the sea floor. It’s a soft yet striking blend of sea foam green and sandy beige. I love to rim my eyes with it, as the soft metallic effect instantly wakes up my peepers. Layer it thinly over your entire eyelid to cream a mesmerizing backdrop for a thick fringe of eyelashes, or dab it onto your lids to add a luxe touch to an edgy smoky eye. This creamy formula is highly pigmented and lasts for hours and hours without creasing. I’m in love.

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    March Beauty Picks

    Spring beauty for me is all about flawless, dewy skin, bright lips and a sense of playfulness, whether that’s an unexpected swipe of sea foam eyeshadow or a candy-coloured manicure. My skin has just recovered from a breakout of epic proportions and that’s all down to two holy-grail products in this list. Trust me, I’m a skincare junkie, and these are the cream of the crop.

    1 // SAND & SKY – Purifying Pink Clay Mask

    Not only does this mask work like a charm but it actually looks pretty while in action. Comprised of a Australian pink clay, it draws out excess oil, dirt, dead skin cells and other impurities, leaving your complexion smooth, clear, and matte. Plus, the petal pink hue is completely insta-worthy.

    2 // Mellow Cosmetics – Passion Matte Lipstick in Light Pink

    This may just be my favorite pink lipstick of all time. The formula is moisturizing and creamy but it dries to a velvety matte finish. Also the hue is pretty much perfect. It’s a light, rosy pink that makes me complexion look fresh and awake instead of ruddy or washed out like so many pink lipsticks do. A perfect ten – and I have a massive selection of lipsticks!

    3 // Tarte – Sex Kitten Eyeliner in Black

    My biggest beauty pet peeve is when my eyeliner runs and smudges into a racoon-ish mess within a couple of hours of me putting it on. I absolutely ADORE this formula (although honestly, Tarte rarely puts out a product I don’t love) because it glides on smooth and stays crisp and defined by the end of the day. It’s highly pigmented and the tip is super precise so this is my go-to for cat-eyes and when I want to fine-line my peepers. It’s a little pricey, but when you consider how well it works and that you only have to apply it ONCE in the day, it’s totally worth it.

    4 // Kester Black – Nail Polish in Violet

    Vibrant and sweet, this candy-esque lacquer reminds me of shiny hard candies – the kind my grandma would keep in a pretty bowl on the coffee table. This shade is not at all the subtle nude or french tips I usually go for, but it’s a great way to add a playful hit of colour that screams spring!

    5 // Juice Beauty – Green Apple Peel Sensitive Exfoliating Mask

    As someone with very sensitive, fair skin that’s prone to discolouration, I place a lot of importance on exfoliation in my skincare routine. Rough, abrasive scrubs just make my complexion red and irritated, so this gentle but effective peel is a favourite of mine. Packed full of fruit-derived alpha hydroxy acids and glycolic acid, this sweet-smelling gel breaks down dead skin cells and promotes collagen production and cell turn-over. Not only does this prevent breakouts but it helps to fade marks and enhance your skins natural glow. I use this twice a week and I absolutely love it. If you’re someone who finds traditional scrubs to be harsh for your skin, give this celebrity-approved product a try.

    What beauty products are you obsessed with right now? Let’s chat makeup and skincare – I can’t get enough.

    xoxo,

    Alicia