A review of my favorite facial products

Happy Friday Everyone!!!

Hope you had a fabulous week and Halloween! Our son absolutely loved every minute of Halloween and like all great parents, we are enjoying the benefits of having all of his chocolate and chips in the house ;).

I once again couldn’t decide on one post for this week so I decided to publish two. I’ m dedicating this post to five of my favourite products that I use on my face and the other post to a recent Oatmeal and raisin GF muffin recipe that I made.

I don’t know about you, but I have struggled my entire life with finding the perfect face wash, makeup remover, lotion and eye cream. Well folks, I’m happy to report that I’ve found a few products that I absolutely love and a couple of them may shock you as they are super affordable.

Since my teens, I’ve always had problem skin. It’s very dry and I continue (and probably will always have) hormonal acne. Damn hormones! I’m sure that some of you can relate to this. ..right? 😉 I thought this would go away with age or maybe after having kids but to be honest it’s only worsened. Not fair!

For those who have similar issues with their skin, I hope that some of my skin care secrets help you out and if you have any tips or product suggestions for me I would love to hear about them.

So here are the products that I’m currently using on my face daily:

1. Face Wash: Nivea’s refreshing foaming cleanser 

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Nivea refreshing foaming cleanser

I always start by washing my face with Nivea’s refreshing foaming cleanser. I’ve used so many products on my face since my teens and only came across this cleanser about a year ago and LOVE IT! It does an excellent job at cleaning my skin and removing my makeup and it also doesn’t dry it out or leave a residue on it. More importantly (and I may regret saying this lol) I’ve NEVER reacted to it.

Even better, it only costs $10. I remember my mom using their products when my sister and I were young and I never really gave them a try until I was older and I’m happy that I did. Like I’ve said before, mom usually knows best ;). For all of these reasons, I give this product a 10/10 and highly recommend that you try it out.

2. Makeup remover: Clean and Clear cleansing makeup wipes

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Clean&Clear Facial Cleansing wipes

Once I’m done washing my face, I wipe away the leftover makeup with these wipes which surprisingly work like a charm. Why surprisingly, well I’ve always associated clean and clear products with back to school adds when I was in elementary and high school lol “clean and clear and under control.” Does anyone else remember those adds lol?

The awesome thing about these is that they actually work. I wipe each eye once or twice and the makeup comes off effortlessly. Another bonus is that this product isn’t oily, it leaves your skin feeling nourished and there’s no need to rinse after use. Finally, an added bonus is that it’s super affordable costing around $10 depending on where you buy it. These Clean and Clear cleansing wipes are an absolute fav and I highly recommend that you try them out as well. Because of these reasons, I give this product a 10/10 as well.

3. Eye creamKiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Eye-Brightening Concentrate 

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Kiehls Powerful-Stregth Line-Reducing Eye-Brightening Concentrate

After washing my face and removing my makeup, I dab a little bit of Kiehl’s Powerful- Srength Line-Reducing Eye-Brightening Concentrate. I’ve only tried a couple eye creams in the last few years but this one is my favourite so far. I find that after using it for a couple of days I can notice improvements in the skin around my eyes. They become brighter and the dark circles lessen. I’m onto my second bottle of this product now so I would say that I’m pretty happy with it but I would love to hear any recommendations you have regarding any line reducing and eye brightening creams. I would give this product a 7/10.

I’m looking forward to trying others, once this bottle is empty, to see if there’s anything else out there that I’d love more.

4. Lotion #1: Clarin’s HydraQuench Lotion SPF 15 – Normal to combination skin

Finally, once I have washed my face, removed my makeup and applied my eye lotion I apply lotion all over my face (of course, in an upward motion ;)). I’ve always been a lover of products made by Clarins. My mother-in-law started me on them years ago and I’m so grateful for that. Merci Mona 😉 The bad news is that they’re no longer selling my favourite daily moisturizer. I went to buy it this summer and found out that they’ve replaced it with this HydraQuench Lotion with SPF 15. Unfortunately, I’m sad to report that I’m not a fan of this lotion. Although it’s light and hydrating, my skin always breaks out after I use it for two or more days. I was very surprised by this since I had never reacted to their products before. I guess that this new product just isn’t a good match for me. I still use it but I rotate it along with Clarin’s Beauty Flash Balm which is AMAZING!!! I swear by this product. See review below.

I give this lotion a 5/10 because it does go on lightly and you don’t have to use much but unfortunately, I won’t be buying it again since it makes my skin breakout. Below is a picture of it along with the Beauty Balm.

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Clarins HydraQuench Lotion and Clarins Beauty Flash Balm

5. Lotion #2 – MY ABSOLUTE FAV – Clarin’s Beauty Flash Balm (brightens and tightens)

Ok, this product is by far my favourite cream of all time and you have to try it. I was told that it isn’t supposed to be used daily since it’s more of a pick me up cream and is meant to be used “when needed” but if I could I would 🙂 Why? Well, it’s because I actually notice a difference in my skin as soon as I use it. This beauty flash balm is supposed to brighten and tighten and that it does. When I apply it to my skin I feel its effect right away. My skin immediately looks more alive and much brighter. Being the mom of two kids under the age of 4 and having just returned to work both my skin and myself are a little tired once and a while lol and could use a pick me up. This balm goes on thicker than the Hydraquench cream, however, it doesn’t feel thick once applied and more importantly it doesn’t cause my skin to react. Actually, I’ve never reacted to this.

This product runs for $50 and is worth every dollar. For all of the reasons above,  I give this product a 10/10 and look forward to continuing to use it. Oh, I forgot to mention, the only downside (which doesn’t affect my rating, is that it doesn’t contain an SPF).

Well, that’s what I’m using on my face. I would LOVE to hear about your favourite facial cleansers or creams so please take the time to let me know in a comment.

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

Talk soon,

Ash

Back to work shopping!

The end of my maternity leave is fast approaching and I will be returning to work in August. I can’t believe that our baby girl is turning one next week. It’s been over four years since I  bought new work clothes, so I’ve decided to buy myself whatever it is that I need. I usually don’t go nuts on myself, when it comes to shopping, but after two pregnancies and maternity leaves, I deserve new clothes! Let the shopping games begin ;).

So far, I  found quite a few new tops from Banana Republic and Reitmans. I said it, Reitmans. I always thought it was a mom store…My shopping there confirms it ;).  They have good sales though once and a while super cute accessories. Check it out. Being a mom, I find that I don’t have much time for shopping so it is kind of nice when I stumble upon sales by accident since we all know that planning a shopping day or evening almost never happens. (Side note: one of the perks of going back to work will be a little bit more time for me whether it be shopping, coffee breaks or reading. Although I am not looking forward to leaving baby girl, I am looking forward to some me time).

Back to shopping.  I’m a sucker for a great deal! I happened to be out shopping for the kids last week when I came across a 50% off sale at Banana Republic. I ended up picking up 5 new tops for $156. Amazing! Here are a few of the tops that I bought.

 

As for Reitmans, I ended up buying three new tops, two undershirts, a dress, a cardigan and a skirt. I don’t love the tops and won’t wear them outside of work but they are cute and only cost $15 each so I couldn’t resist them. I don’t know about you but I get this kind of rush whenever I come across an awesome sale. I feel like the lady in the Ikea commercial. “Start the car!!!” Not only was each piece from Reitmans reduced, but they were an additional 60% off. Amazing!

 

After finding these gems, I still needed some new skirts. The ones I currently have look pathetic and have been worn one too many times. I spent hours shopping and several evenings at the outlets and at the mall but couldn’t find anything that I liked or that fit me properly until I tried RW&Co. I hadn’t shopped there in years. Turns out I hit the jackpot. At this point I was ready to spend anything one new skirts since I was getting desperate. Good news is that I found four amazing skirts and a cute black wide strapped tank top. Each skirt is quite different from the other and fits comfortably. Another bonus was that two of them were 70% off and the other two were buy two get each for $45. Not bad eh! All four skirts and the top cost me $160 and I saved over $150.

I also managed to finally find a couple cardigans from H&M. They aren’t anything special but they’ll keep me warm in the air-conditioned office. I picked one up in black and another in light grey. Both cost less than $40.

Of course, there are a few other things I’d like to pick up before heading back 😉 like a big city bag, cute jackets (the list goes on ;)) but they aren’t needs so I will pick them up slowly as I transition back into work and my new life routine. I’m happy with the purchases that I have made so far and excited to wear them and get out of my “active wear” clothes! You know what I am talking about mamas ;).

What’s your favourite spot to shop for work clothes?

Talk soon,

Ash xo

A few of my favourite things – June 2017

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Here are a few of my favourite things! This June I have fallen in love with a few fun items that I would like to share with you. The first being the cosmetic line “Pixi.” Have you heard of them? Probably 😉 I only just recently came across this line while I was walking through shoppers drug mart and love it. I’ve only purchased two items so far but I’m very happy with both. The first is their Mesmerizing Mineral Palette in Opal Glow. The palette offers 6 beautiful neutral shades of soft shades of pink, peach and browns. They also have some shine to them and who doesn’t like a little glitter ;). Another bonus is that the shadow lasts all day. I use a MAC primer first and then use which ever colour I feel for that day. I find that the primer really helps accentuate the colour and helps it stay on beautifully. I also purchased their Shea Butter Lip Balm in Sweet Peach. This product is a must for those looking for a very moisturizing, neutral lipstick for day wear. The sweet peach goes on like a lipstick but feels like a lip balm. It leaves your lips feeling very hydrated and the colour lasts for a good little while. You don’t have to re-apply every 30 minutes to keep the colour. Overall, I am very happy with these products and I do plan on trying others. Please let me know if you have any favourite Pixi products. I’d love to try them out.

I also experienced a blast from the past this month. My high school love for gold hoop earrings has returned with a vengeance. Nothing makes me feel better than wearing my hair half up or in a pony tail with gold hoop earrings. I recently bought a nice pair from Aldo and have worn them on a couple of date nights already. I’ve also worn a funky pair that my in-laws bought me for my birthday, last year, while they were in Greece. They are too fun and super original. It has been nice to get out on a couple date nights recently and to be able to wear play jewelry. For the moms out there that are reading this, I am sure that you can relate. I can’t wear these earrings on the regular since the kids play and tug on them as though they are their personal pinata ;).

Another high school come back are my recent purchases from American Eagle Outfitters (AEO). I don’t know about you but I have been all over the boho chic style this summer and they offer amazing and affordable options. Their floral patterns are on point and I am a sucker for matching shorts and tops or skirts and tops. I kind of went nuts, after my birthday in May and spent most of my birthday dollars at AEO but I don’t regret it one bit. I haven’t worn all of the pieces yet since the weather hasn’t been nice enough, but I will make sure to post pics of them, when I do.

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Last, but not least, after years of ignoring my hairdresser’s request, I have finally purchased traceless hair-ties and LOVE them. If you haven’t tried these, you have to! They are amazing and totally work. Being biracial, my hair is curly and quite dry. I tend to wear my hair straight most of the time and find that it never grows. Like it literally never grows past my breasts. (If anyone has any suggestions for products that could possibly help me with this I would greatly appreciate it!). Due to my damaged hair and breakage, my hairdresser has been asking me to use a good old fashion scrunchy. Yep, like the scrunchies from the 80’s-90’s. They aren’t sexy but they protect your hair from breaking. I have yet to buy a scrunchy but I recently came across traceless hair ties and they have the same effect. I actually found them by accident. I went to the brookstreet hotel for a massage and saw them by their cash register when I was paying. They had the cutest display of multicoloured traceless hair ties. As soon as I saw them I was sold. They came in brown, clear, neon pink, bright blue etc. I ended up buying a pack of brown hair ties and have worn them every day since. I also picked up two more packs of pink ones from another location.

The cool thing is that they actually work. They don’t cause any kinks in your hair and don’t pull.  Ladies, I highly recommend these traceless hair-ties. They not only protect your hair but they also look super cute.

Talk soon!

Ash xo