Beauty: BioActive Externals

Youthful and Ageless

Two key words that jump out to grab our attention in the packaging of many skincare lines.  After all, we all strive to be youthful and ageless for as long as we can.

If we’re being true to ourselves we should know that we cannot rely on one miracle topical product to turn back the clock.  But we keep hoping.  I think even with *good genes the key ingredients to staying youthful is remaining curious, being active, refrain from stress (as much as humanly possible), eating and sleeping well, hydration and the bioactive externals like good clean skincare.  Basically looking after yourself as well as you can because you’re all you’ve got! Keeping this in mind, and aside from my own products, I’m always open to checking out new and improved skincare regimes.  I also love the ritual of applying them morning and night.

After having met and listened to Suzanne Somers promote her Suzanne Organics skincare line which is exclusively at Clark’s Nutrition in Rancho Mirage, Ca., I felt obliged to try a few products.  If only because Suzanne is her own best testament to the products and philosophy behind them.

Makeup + Skincare by Suzanne Organics

I’ve been using her ageless serum which is loaded with sea algae followed by her Bioactive Moisturizer which among other active natural ingredients is loaded with CoQ10, Argan (last year my sis brought Argan oil back from the Atlas mountains of Morocco for me) oil and sea buckthorn berry which acts as a superfood for your skin.  Of course you have to eat whole food for your skin to look its very best but let’s just agree that the ingredient listing is excellent.  It feels great on my face too. The whole collection is Toxic Free.  The coco-mango body butter is my absolute favourite. Find out more at: link below

*Having good genes doesn’t mean you’ll live longer, it just means you’ll look better doing it.

https://www.suzannesomers.com/

BENEFITS: 

  Formula uses only pure, organic ingredients

  No animal testing

  No synthetic fragrances

  Beech Tree Bud Extract supports the skin cells. This organic extract moisturizes the skin and assists in the look of wrinkle reduction by supporting the skin

  Argan Oil is one of the rarest oils in the world, this desert plant restores moisture so skin can survive dry climates, such as air-conditioning or heating

  Just as this plant protects itself from the desert heat, the oil from the tree’s fruit helps our skin to be protected from the elements.

  Sea Buckthorn Berry is a rare plant that contains essential fatty acids, Omega 3,6,7 and 9! Our skin loves these essential fatty acids and to find all of these essential fatty acids in one plant is remarkable

AND MORE…

If you’ve been fortunate enough to try her line I’d like your comments.

Polished Beauty

Beauty with a Purpose – from Cult Favorite Skincare Label Tatcha

It’s something that was sent to me in the new Box of Style – second go around for Spring. I don’t have to go out looking for new product, it now comes to me and keeps on getting better. I’m happy that it’s an exfoliant with a history and a mission to empower women, as well as make them look well, more polished shall we say?

What it is: a non-abrasive, water-activated enzyme exfoliant with rice bran and licorice, so even those with dry skin can use it. Which helps to encourage cell turnover, lighten the appearance of dark spots, prevent breakouts or clogged pores, and prepare the skin for any treatments to follow.

Founder Victoria Tsai’s Mission Statement

“When I thought of geisha, I had always pictured them with their iconic white makeup. When I met them in person, I realized that underneath that makeup is baby-soft, smooth, luminous skin. Caring for their skin is part of their artistry, passed down and honed through generations. Their rituals and ingredients are timeless and beautiful—they view skin as a brilliant organ, able to care for itself with a little bit of gentle cleansing and nourishment. I fell in love with this approach and wanted to pay homage in creating Tatcha.”

Western Vs. Eastern

“Western skincare is a lot like Western medicine, using drugs to treat an issue after the fact. Eastern skincare is like Eastern medicine, focused on prevention and keeping the body in balance to avoid disease before it starts. Classical Japanese beauty rituals were born from the geisha’s rituals, which are natural, elegant and spare. Even with elaborate performance makeup, her ritual is no more than four steps: melt away her makeup, polish, plump and nourish skin. The ingredients follow the same philosophy, with streamlined formulas of active ingredients, minimally manipulated to their most efficacious form. Whether it’s oil from a camellia flower, steamed wild rose or brewed green tea, each ingredient serves a purpose.”

Why Choose Tatcha

“We develop every formula and our key active ingredients from scratch in-house with some of the most famous skincare scientists in the world, like a couture dress. The ingredients are pure and clean because of our classical Japanese heritage and because I was pregnant when we were beginning our R&D and needed a collection that is body-, animal- and earth-friendly. Finally, we believe that beauty begins in the heart and the mind. We have a 1:1 partnership with Room to Read: Every full-size skincare purchase funds a day of school for a girl in a developing country. Thanks to amazing clients and friends like Rachel Zoe, we have funded over 1 million days of school and counting.”

Have you tried it?  What exfoliant are you using and/or recommend?

photos/story: Zoe Report

 

Beauty: the instanatural

Message to those of you who PAY ATTENTION to my beauty posts:serum1

don’t think I’m repeating myself because my last post was about skin serums.  I promise it won’t be a weekly event.  Well it might; just not on serums every time.  But I was excited to share this one with you too because you knowI’m an authority on the subject this is one of my specialties

Last week I mentioned some ridiculously affordable serums from Canadian beauty start-up company Deciem which offered one active ingredient in each bottle.  Great if you want let’s say…Vitamin “C”, or Hyaluronic Acid, etc..

But let’s say you just want MORE

You might want to consider the Age-Defying & Skin Clearing Serum from Instanatural for just under $25.

As skincare products go this is a pretty appealing price and name.  I mean anything with “age-defying AND “skin clearing” claims must be at least looked upon.  This is the holy grail of skin ingredient listings:

Retinol? Salicylic acid? Niacinamide? Vitamin C? Hyaluronic acid? Tea tree oil? Lavender? In one little bottle?

One beauty editor experienced what she referred to as a skincare-induced bout of hyperventilation. These were all the ingredients one could wish for in one product to plump skin, make it brighter, clear blemishes and blackheads, and hide fine lines.

The serum has a milky consistency to it and a lovely citrusy scent.

Granted, I have yet to try it (still trying to get through all the rest of the products that I’ve either purchased or were sent to me for review).  But I can tell you that it’s high up on my list.

What are your all-time favorite skincare products?

Beauty: Narcissiststick

Essentially speaking….

sometimes we need a little help attaining a perfect complexion. Sometimes even a lot of work. We can take a few shortcuts to looking flawless by using mineral powder or liquid foundation (both good) to even out our skintone but for simplicity sake I say….STICK IT!foundation1

What’s New? Well….

NARCISSIST FOUNDATION STICK

If you’re like me you want minimalist makeup with instant gratification.

W3LL PEOPLE is an uncommon beauty dream team founded by an elite makeup artist, cosmetic dermatologist and tree hugging entrepreneur, passionate about making positive choices in life, particularly when it comes to self care.

Skin, our largest organ, absorbs about 80% of what we put on it. This crucial fact drives their mission to create super premium quality cosmetics without the use of potentially harmful artificial chemicals found in most conventional makeup. A modern approach built on simplicity, authenticity and performance.

State-of-the-art, all-natural formulas effortlessly deliver flawless coverage and soothing protection that’s unbelievably light. foundation2

 This feel good, creamy foundation instantly melts into skin giving it a fresh, healthy glow. The modern stick design is ideal for portability and mess-proof application on the go. The New breakthrough formula delivers a weightless, satin, soft-focus finish while balancing skin tone and diminishing imperfections. Made with pure, natural and organic ingredients, so there’s no film, no grease, no crease just diva-friendly perfection.

SOLD!!

  • Key ingredients: organic sunflower oil, castor seed oil, organic beeswax, silica, mica, safflower seed oil, aloe extract, vitamin E, organic green tea essential oil, organic chamomile essential oil

http://w3llpeople.com/

Price: $28.99 USD

Beauty: by Chanel

Glamorous products to help make you a better version of yourselfchanelrougecoco6chanelrougecoco1

That’s what I think of Chanel beauty.  It’s not that I believe because the logo says “Chanel” that they are necessarily better than anything else on the market….however I’m loving these two products that happen to be under the label “Chanel”.   Aside from how nicely they apply, wearability and comfort let’s just admit that the packaging is pretty elegant.  And sometimes that counts for a lot.  Especially with something you tend to wear every day.  And with the Chanel name you can expect nothing but the best.

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder SPF 15chanelrougecoco4

Chanel Les Beiges Powder is a compact setting powder that is designed to give your complexion a sheer, healthy, glow without looking too bronzy or unnatural. Released in Fall 2013, it is part of Chanel’s permanent collection. It boasts SPF15++, though, as with any makeup product with sun protection claims, you would have to use an unreal amount of this product to achieve the amount of protection claimed.  A bonus factor is that the half-moon brush that comes encased is made with all natural bristles and you can actually use it. I suggest choosing a slightly more intense shade than your normal skin tone for a sun-kissed effect.

It’s available in 7 luminous shades: N°10, N°20, N°30, N°40, N°50, N°60, and N°70. Interestingly, the official Chanel website only offers six shades – N°10, N°20, N°25, N°30, N°40, and N°50. However, Nordstrom carries all 7 shades, as will most department store Chanel counters you visit in person.

Chanel Rouge Coco Stylo:chanelrougecoco2

There’s a new lipstick formula from Chanel called Rouge Coco Stylo (stylo means pen in French and when you look at the photo you’ll see why this name is perfect) which comes in a slim twist-up tube that’s described as having “the intensity of a lipstick, the shine of a lip gloss and comfort of a lip balm.” It truly is a three-in-one kind of lipstick.  The texture is great, the colour is beautiful and it is relatively long-wearing.  I have #214 – Message which is a vibrant berry shade for Fall.  It is sophisticated and above all, moisturizing which is very important to me right now.

Have you tried these?

beauty: face time

Yesterday I wrote about doing a wardrobe check – to clear out what is no longer useful and keep only what works to bring out our best selves for a more polished look.  Now I want to talk about polishing up our complexions.

Products for all seasons and all reasons.

Products for all seasons and all reasons.

Change of season means using lighter products and doing a makeover check.  First off…

I’m told that half of all women wear the wrong shoe size (can that be true, really?) and two thirds wear the wrong size bra (we know we’re really 34B but we’ll buy a 34D…wishful thinking?).  And I don’t know exactly how many of us use the wrong facial products but I’m guessing the numbers are pretty high.

Do you know your skin type?

Maybe you think you do but chances are your skin type falls into more than one category.  Even those of us with so-called “normal” complexions experience flare ups and we all have battles from time to time.  Some more than others.   Skin is a living organ and it mirrors what’s happening in our lives and in our bodies.  It constantly changes – hormones one week, stress the next.  Taking medication, a change in diet, smoking, drinking, not sleeping, all of it can effect our mood and in turn, our skin.

General classifications are normal, combination, oily, dry, sensitive.

Most people will experience combination skin at some point. The ‘T Zone’ around the nose, forehead and eyes is naturally a bit oilier than the rest of the skin on your face, so one way to find out what mood your skin is in is to clean this area with a light cleanser, followed by a good toner and then leave it for a couple of hours. The results may not be what you’re expecting.

If you find that the skin is very tight, it may be that you need to start using a richer formula for a while to deal with any excess dryness.

Sensitive skin usually benefits from something lighter, like a gel or serum, while skin prone to breakouts or redness may need special attention with regular masks designed to soothe and cleanse the pores.

Customized Skin Care

Customized Skin Care

Then there are problem conditions like acne, rosacea or eczema which can really get in the way of you and your best self. They make you tend to want to hide from the world.

Did you know that you can help ease your problem situation and in some cases clear it up entirely by abiding by some dietary tips and some simple at-home remedies?

This according to skin care guru *Kate Somerville:

Dietary Tips for Treating Acne: be wary of dairy, white sugar, white flour and saturated fats.  Milk contains steroid hormones and other compounds that can contribute to clogged pores, inflammation, and acne.  Sugars boost insulin which can increase oil production and the growth of  pore-clogging cells.

At-Home Remedies for Treating Acne: Find products with different active ingredients to target acne like sulfur, benzoyl peroxide, tea-tree oil and salicylic acid.  it’s essential that products don’t strip or over dry the skin because it will over-compensate by producing excess oil.

Dietary Tips for Treating Rosacea: diet plays a large role in rosacea.  Avoid trigger foods such as caffeine, white sugar, white flour, alcohol and spicy food.  Eat food that encourages the growth of good bacteria like leafy greens, high-fiber foods and probiotics.

At-Home Remedies for Treating Rosacea: Look for products containing calming agents like mineral masks, aloe, lavender and green tea.  For severe rosacea see your dermatologist, there are great topical antibiotics available.

Dietary Tips for Treating Eczema: If you’re having a severe eczema breakout, stop eating all dairy, wheat and sugar.  Eat whole, unprocessed foods and stay away from acidic items like tomatoes and vinegar.  Drinking lemon water will keep you hydrated and make your system more alkaline which is crucial when you’re battling eczema.

At-Home Remedies for Treating Eczema: bathing is better than showering when your skin is dry, because a shower can actually strip oils.  Make sure the temperature isn’t too hot and avoid products with fragrance.  Try adding goat’s milk or colloidal oatmeal to your bath and apply your lotion, oils or eczema cream as soon as you get out of the tub to seal in hydration.

*At the Kate Somerville “Skin Health Experts Clinic” they use blue and red LED light therapy which aids in treating and clearing up acne, eczema and rosacea.

 The treatment is supposed to stimulate cell growth and has an anti-inflammatory effect, which heals and relieves pain.  Have any of you tried it?facetime8

I guess the answer to perfect skin is to never eat sugar, dairy or fat and get at least 8 solid hours of sleep every night, don’t drink any alcohol and try not to stress.  But hey; we’re only human.

What kind of skin type do you think you have?  If you don’t mind sharing I’d like to know and also how you deal with any specific skin care problems.




























Beach Hair Beauty

sephora9The sun’ll come out

Tomorrow

Bet your bottom dollar

That tomorrow

There’ll be sun!

And if not, then it will come out soon enough

Then we’ll head to the beach and get a head of beach bombshell hair

Or something like that

Because it’s freeing not to think about hair too much in the summer or try to create a casually toussled look like we’ve been to the beach, even if we haven’t.

For effortlessly chic, sexy undone hair that shouts “just got out of the ocean and my hair dried perfectly.”sephora8

And the best way to do that is with:

sephora7A product that will help do it for us.  A product such as Quai Wave Spray. The one that all the women in the biz who matter use, so I’m told.  Hey; I matter dammit!

So I am being sent some my way any day now.  Because I love the way my hair dries naturally after  having spent time in salt water.  It’s the best!

Quai uses rice protein instead of salt in their spray. They say that the rice protein protects hair fibers from the inside against oxidative damage due to solar radiation and hair keratin from degradation.

I think it may work much better than the empty plastic spray bottle I filled up with ocean water thinking I could create my own natural hair product.  It was ingenious by the way, just not perfect. It was too drying.

This feather light spray is formulated to give natural wave and body without any dryness or crunch.

What else you need to know:
Shake it up and spritz it on damp or dry hair  from root to tip to activate natural waves, enhance texture, boost body, and give hair memory. Or, just mist the roots for extra volume.This product is scented with Ouai No. 2 Fragrance, containing notes of Italian lemon, amber, and white musk. No Parabens, No Animal Testing.
sephora10Available at Sephora or visit their website: http://theouai.com/

*First five lines and the one below taken from the uplifting song Tomorrow from the Broadway musical “Annie”.

When I’m stuck with a day that’s grey and lonely I just stick up my chin and grin and say, the sun will come out eventually tomorrow.  Sure I do! Then I know my hair will be better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beauty: La Mer “The Concentrate”

Designer products for your face

It’s very seldom that I spend a ton of money on a single skincare/makeup product.lamer5 It’s not that I haven’t done it before but I’m simplifying so many areas of my life right now and skincare is amongst them. Add to that the fact that I make my own natural products.

In the exceedingly competitive beauty market it all comes down to what works for you and what you can afford to spend.  If money is not an issue and you believe an expensive product will work better then by all means go for it.  Sometimes the simpler the better but I won’t knock anything before trying it.  And contrary to the naysayers, some of the more pricey products are superior and seem to work more effectively.lamer3

I’ve  received various products to test out and blog about and even though I’m under no obligation to do so, I like to share my favourites. Which brings me to the most recent one from La Mer. It’s called The Concentrate or; the Miracle Worker (after all it has a trademarked miracle broth secret ingredient). I’ve  been using it for only two weeks and it seems to have smoothed out a rough patch on an area of my face created by an allergy to something. I love the soothing texture and how evenly it spreads and helps hydrate.

Here’s the thing.  In the short time span I’ve been using it, it appears to be a first-rate product but I would look around before I shell out several hundred dollars for a tiny bottle. Can I pay $320 for 1 oz of this so-called miracle product?  The answer is yes. Do I want to? The answer is no.  Will I?  It’s possible only if it works. The high prices on many skincare and makeup products are beginning to put me off.  I’m questioning where to draw the line on spending. Do you feel the same way?

Here is what the company has to say:

THE CONCENTRATE

A saviour of skin, the Concentrate complements skin’s natural healing process with the restorative power of the sea. Designed to soothe visible irritation and redness caused by cosmetic procedures such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion and laser treatments, it is infused with a dose of highly concentrated Miracle Broth™, the heart of La Mer’s profound powers of transformation. Irritation appears soothed and dry, fragile skin made strong for a radiant renewal.

Thoroughly massage onto affected area at least twice per day. For optimal results, follow with your *Crème de la Mer moisturizer.  *another several hundred dollars.

Your thoughts on the cost of beauty and where do we draw the line?

http://www.cremedelamer.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beauty: Celebrating 40 Years at L’OCCITANE!

Talking about the beauty company founded in Provence, France. Not me. I’m nowhere near 40!

Robson Street Location

The Beautiful Corner Location at Robson & Burrard – always loved the baskets

40 is the age of genius!

Many great artists created the majority of their works once they passed this milestone. Niki de Saint-Phalle’s Nanas, Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup CansThe Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi to name a few.

Lemon Verbena hand wash & hand lotion gift set

Lemon Verbena hand wash & hand lotion gift set

No one is young after forty, but one can be irresistible at any age.” Coco Chanel

Anyway, some things get better with age.   Certainly that would be true for the company known and loved for its irresistible French pampering products.  I once visited the original L’Occitane location where you could smell fields of heavenly lavender from miles away.

Almond Concentrate

Almond Concentrate

 

I always carry a hand cream in my purse. These all have Shea Butter.

I always carry a hand cream in my purse. These all have Shea Butter.

To help celebrate, L’Occitane held an evening in their flagship Vancouver location last week – with hor d’oeuvres, glasses of rosé, dried lavender bouquets, free gel manis and surprise gift cards offering anywhere from $10 to $100 worth of product.  It was a fun few hours with like minded women. Translation: we who want to be pampered.

For its 40th anniversary, L’Occitane is retracing the roots of its greatest products.

Time to uncover the secrets behind one of my all time favourites: 

Almond Milk Concentrate body cream with its luxurious scent of the South.L'Occitane5

Renowned since ancient times for its fruits’ softening and smoothing properties, the almond tree is a key part of the Provençal landscape. First to blossom, the trees adorn themselves in February with a delicately scented white veil, as the orchards continue to sleep. The flowers herald the start of Spring, before giving way to beautiful soft green shells, the nut of which is bursting with useful cosmetic properties.L'Occitane2
Yet at one time the almond tree all but disappeared from the region. Threatened by the mechanisation of agriculture and the expansion of more profitable crops, it gradually began disappearing in the 1930s. In the 2000s, the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence region pioneered an initiative, supported by L’Occitane, to get this symbolic tree back to its rightful place in the Provençal landscape.

THE ULTIMATE SOFT TEXTURE

Combining smooth, creamy oil with meltingly soft almond milk, this formula has the ability to both strengthen and soften. Its secret? A luxurious, almost addictive fragrance. Like covering skin with a satin-smooth veil, Almond Milk Concentrate hydrates for more than 48 hours, while at the same time smoothing, firming and restoring the skin’s natural density.

Voilà! Straight From the fields of Provence to your favourite L’Occitane store.

Age does not protect you from the dangers of love. But love, to some extent, protects you from the dangers of age.” Jeanne Moreau.

Photos: d. king

Source for Concentrate: L’Occitane.com

 

 

 

 

beauty: in the buffing

It’s pretty common at this time of year to experience chapped lips.  It doesn’t feel good and it doesn’t look good when your lipstick flakes because your lips are too dry.

What RED suits you best?

What RED suits you best?

We’ve spoken about face scrubs  before and the importance of exfoliating to keep our complexions looking dewy and glowy and perfect (ha ha) as much as we can.  What about our lips? We shouldn’t forget about them….especially with Valentines Day around the corner.  Get them REDdy!

I’m not so sure if Benefit Cosmetics still sells their lip duo (a balm and exfoliant which I bought years ago and still have –  see photo) which is a natural more gentle exfoliant geared specifically for lips with little beads packed with AHA and jojoba to scrub away chapped lips and dry lines.

Benefit - Dr. Feelgood combo

Beauty with Benefit – tubes of Dr. Feelgood

If you can’t find this product then you can use any regular face exfoliant but don’t rub so hard over your mouth.  It should work almost as well.  It’s just that the little tube from Benefit is so convenient to carry around and for travelling.  I think the cute packaging is what drew me to the product in the first place.

 It really helps to smooth the lips, make them softer so lipstick applies easier and lasts longer and your lips...well they’re much more kissable this way.

redlips

That’s what we want!

valentine5