Dry Skin Savers

It’s that time of year here in Toronto – a time most Canadians know all too well – where your biggest winter jacket just isn’t always warm enough, your pants have slush stains on them and your skin is dry and cracking in places we ought not to mention.   That’s why today I’m sharing a few of my faves to save your skin this winter.


The foundation to any long lasting and flawless makeup application is skin.  I can’t stress this enough: SKIN, SKIN, SKIN!  There’s no primer or foundation that can mimic the natural glow of healthy, moisture-rich skin.   Can you tell I’m a big believer in skin care?  Not only is it a must for my clients, but I recommend that everyone have a skin care regime designed for their specific skin type and prevent aging long before it happens.  You can’t stop aging but you can prevent the toll it takes on your appearance!

Here’s what I recommend you use on your skin to keep it plump and moisturized:


Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic creams:


the rumour is that Charlotte made these up in her own kitchen and long before they  were commercially bottled and sold, Charlotte used them on her clients.  I like the night cream best, if I’m honest.  It is just so rich and it does all the repair work while I sleep.  This is an essential key that lots of people miss; applying a rich nighttime mask or cream like this one  or even this one can make a world of difference.


Keep skin hydrated during the day either with Charlotte’s cream above, or I like Clinique’s Moisture Surge Intense and Farmacy’s Honey Drop.  Both can be purchased at Sephora and I’ve used and loved them both. I like to alternate them or even blend them together on a particularly dry day!

For lips, which seem to never be moisturized enough for me, really41edq2qpsml._sy355_ – I have one go to that you can’t beat: Carmex.  It comes in a tube or a pot, and you can grab it for under $5 at your local drugstore.  I swear by it all year round, but especially in the winter.


Don’t neglect those under-eyes either – they can look particularly parched and sunken {though you’re well fed, well slept, and just stuck in a Canadian winter!} when the air is as crisp and cool as it is now.  I always use eye patches on my clients while prepping their look, but also like to use them on myself from time to time as an added luxury with a mask or just pop them on while I’m watching tv.  I find that the Peter Thomas Roth ones work best and leave my under-eyes smooth.

What tips do you have for skin survival this winter?


shop this post

Charlotte’s Magic Cream | Charlotte Tilbury Magic Night Cream |

Clinique Moisture Surge Intense | Farmacy Honey Drop | My secret weapon: Carmex |

Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber De-tox Eye Patches


The Age Old Question: Do You Need Skin Care?

The short answer: YES! A resounding YES. Irrespective of your age, you need to take care of your skin.

Ok, so now that you have the answer, I guess you don’t really need to read on, now do you? I hope you do, though, ‘cause I put a lotta research into this one.   What precisely you need will vary according to your skin type, so I have done my best to not loop all skin types to one “set” or “regimen” of skin care rules. Rather, I’ve separated my research {does that make me sound official?!} into some differing categories or thoughts according to common queries I get from clients.  It’s a sort of a skin Q&A, if you will.


Expensive Skin Care = Better Skin Care

False. Wholeheartedly false. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I don’t discriminate with beauty products; drugstore or high end, so long as it’s great, I don’t care about the price.

My philosophy is just the same for skin care: there are good and bad products across all price categories. If you look at the ingredients in some high end products, they’re filled with wax and water – not exactly great for your skin but great for companies trying to fill expensive bottles and boost profits – while there are some drugstore products that are formulated with few additives and ingredients best for the job. A few key brands come to mind, recommended by makeup artists and dermatologists alike: Cetaphil {both face wash and cream}, Aquaphor {hand and face cream}, and Simple {namely the facial water} to name a few.


Do I Need a Toner?

I’ll admit it. I don’t use a toner. I should, though. This research has changed my mind, and I hope it may for you too. Typically, I’ve seen toners only as astringent types, often containing alcohol. I’ve been told time and time again that toners should close the pores, when really, using these astringents were doing the opposite for my skin – irritating it and inhibiting skin’s ability to repair itself and produce that good ol’ collagen I mentioned above.

Well, I’m out of the loop I guess. There’s a number of great toners on the market with water-based formulas with beneficial ingredients. These are what are best for your skin. Often, there’s some cell communicating ingredients and anti-oxidants that repair skin and produce almost instant benefits.   Toners can be a key part of keeping your skin healthy and younger looking! Be sure to grab a toner designed for your skin type – I used to think the astringent was the best – this is incredibly wrong. Like I mentioned above, stick to something formulated to manage your skin type effectively {ie. Don’t add more oil if you’re already oily, but add oil if you’re dry}.

A word of caution: stay away from anything with a heavy fragrance; a lot of toners may include these. Fragrances are often an irritant for the skin and do just the opposite of what you’d want a toner to do.


As you Age, you Should Change your Skin Products

There’s some truth to this, yes. As you age, your skin changes and you loose skin elasticity – read: collagen and elastin. That’s a blanket statement, yet relatively true for most people. Collagen and elastin are two key components of the dermis, which is the deeper layer of our skin. These are the deepest parts of the skin, just above the fat layer. So, as this goes away, what happens? You show your age!

Some people naturally have more oil in their skin, while others lose a lot of hydration and show visible signs of aging like wrinkles and sunken skin. This is what we all know as a skin type, and generally speaking, it’s what you have throughout your life – from teen years and beyond. Don’t automatically assume that once you’re “mature” {here, I’m referring to 50+…no judgment!} you need to change your regimen – that just may be working well, might I add – simply because there’s a product marketed for “mature” skin. Keep using the products you’ve been using, but perhaps if you see small changes, invest in a product that resolves that issue from a skincare line designed for your skin TYPE, not your age {ie. If you’re lacking moisture but have oily skin, grab a heavier moisturizer targeted for oily skin, not a heavy product designed for “mature” skin. It’ll only make it worse}.


Do I Need to Moisturize Daily?

Yep. You do. If you already do, keep it up! If not, start. Bottom line. Without moisturizer, your skin can appear dry and dull, and you may lose a layer of protection {these are just two negatives, by no means an exhaustive list!}. You’re also missing out on an SPF if you don’t apply that separately, as you can certainly opt for a moisturizer with an SPF according to your proper skin type.

Moisturizer also helps circulation, reducing collagen depletion. Reduced collagen depletion = less wrinkles {see, we’re learning something!}. A proper moisturizer does a lot of repair work too. Let’s be real, we can’t be 100% on point with our diet, skin care, lack of exposure to pollution and anything else that negatively impacts our skin. We can’t simply change our lives completely in pursuit of perfect skin; it’s just not realistic. Therefore, use your moisturizer to repair any damage {big or small} you’ve done to your skin. No, it won’t protect against skin cancer entirely – but an SPF will help – but it’ll make a significant difference. Makeup junkies rejoice! An added bonus: your makeup will go on smoother and look better too!

Wanna avoid wrinkles in the long run and keep your skin in top shape as long as possible? Use a moisturizer – male or female.


I Drink a Lot of Water. So, My Skin Must be Hydrated Too!

Nope. That one’s false. I recently learned this after upping my daily H2O intake in hopes of improving my skin’s appearance. The easiest way to think of it is like this: humans aren’t plants. We can’t photosynthesize all the water we drink and create a beautiful bud at the end of our “stems”. Water doesn’t go straight to the skin. Instead, there’s many, many other processes going on internally that utilize water to function effectively, and so what’s left for skin is limited in its quantity.

So, how can you improve hydration? That’s gonna take some work. Avoid exposure to alcohol {NO!!!!!}, harsh winds, dry heat, and long baths or showers {I’m super guilty of this one…}. Also, avoid alcohol based astringents as I noted above. Diet does play a role too, so be sure to eat foods that are rich in essential fatty acids.   Flaxseed oil supplements can help too!



Phew! That was a lot. If you’ve stuck with me this far, amazing. Thanks for reading! This list is by no means exhaustive, and I’m certainly not a dermatologist. I’m merely sharing the knowledge I’ve acquired through my own research and welcome you to do much of the same.


Questions? Comment below. I would be happy to do a part II!

If you’ve got your own tips, share them too!




Skincare Samples: First Impressions

Disclaimer: I have been blessed with rather nice skin overall – very even in tone, and very few breakouts {b*!tch, I know!}. So, while I’m honest in my impressions below, know that I wasn’t starting with a particular skin problem to begin with.

Where does any proper beauty junkie go when she wants something new to try but is too cheap to buy it? No, NOT Sephora, but her very own stash, of course! {which comes from Sephora or other beauty sample boxes she doesn’t need, but we’ll ignore that, shall we?}

IMG_2125A while ago Recently I received a few samples with either a Sephora 100 point perk, or with an online order, and these samples happened to be of some high end products I’d been wanting to try but just couldn’t justify the price for {even in those little bins as you line-up to checkout at Sephora…you know, the ones that grab you just at a last minute point of weakness}.   Both were both decent sized samples, and I feel as though my thoughts below are reflective of a good try of each product. I was able to use each of them more than once and get an accurate idea of how {or how not} they would work for me.

Glam Glow is the hottest of hot right now when it comes to skin masks. They’re expensive, and they work, or so I’ve been told. I had a sample of the Glam Glow Thirstycleanse Daily Cleanser, which claims to be a daily mud-to-foam cleanser for dry and dehydrated skin. It is formulated without parabens or sulfates, and purports to turn from a luxurious mud into a rich lather to cleanse skin. I underline claims for a reason: it didn’t do a thing for me.


Perhaps I used it incorrectly, or perhaps I had a dud of a sample. It went on as a luxurious mud, that’s for sure, but the cleanser was hardly a “lather” or a “foam”. The Glam Glow did cleanse my skin; it was left feeling clean and make-up free. However, I certainly wouldn’t spend the $43 {WTF!!!!!} it retails for to use it on the daily. If another sample came my way, I wouldn’t turn it down, but it wouldn’t make the first in my rotation.

The Fresh Rose Face Mask – now that was another story. I’m a huge fan of the Fresh Lip Treatments {let me know in the comments below if you want some reviews on those!}, and so I was eager to try some other things from the brand.  The sample size I had leads me to beIMG_2132lieve it was a 100 point perk {is it sad this junkie has so many samples she can’t remember where they came from?}. I will absolutely get more than the 2 uses I’ve already had from it and will be able to enjoy the gorgeous product it is. According to Sephora’s website, it is a hydrating and toning gel mask infused with real rose petals, pure rosewater, and a “smart” algae that delivers optimum moisture.

When you open the product up, it looks a little…um…poopy. It smells a bit different, though once you take it out to put on the skin, the rose smell takes over and it spreads buttery smooth on to the skin. I left this on my clean face – just as the package said – for about 8 minutes {directions said 5-10, so I went in the middle. Good thinkin’, huh?} and was very pleasantly surprised when I rinsed it off. I don’t have dry skin, nor do I think I’m in need of hydration, per se.


{this 110% looks like poop, right? RIGHT?}

This product, unlike the Glam Glow, did make an instant difference. My skin felt a little more plump {in the best way possible} and was silky to the touch. I’d be interested to see how this fares on someone with a distinct lack of hydration versus my relatively normal complexion if this is what it did for me! The Fresh Rose Face Mask retails at Sephora for $73 {I just fell off my chair. No joke} and can be used daily. I’m inclined to think that this wouldn’t be needed that frequently, and so may be a worthy spend for someone whose skin is lacking natural glow and overall hydration.

Would I buy it? If I was a millionaire, sure, or if I had an extra Sephora gift card to kill {maybe not. I could think of a zillion other things I’d buy before a skin care item}. Particularly because I don’t think this product was that much of a WOW on my skin, I can think of other ways to use $73. I would, though, recommend it as a worthwhile product to try as a sample or if you could use a hydrating mask as an essential part of your skincare routine.