SAN FRANCISCO, AT LONG LAST

SFO

After way too many years of wanting to take this trip, I am finally heading out to San Francisco late next month. I have a pretty good idea as to where I want to visit (so much food, so much coffee), but recs are much appreciated!

MAY FAVOURITES

May Favourites
My first installment of the monthly favorites. I’ve gotten super into all things beauty over the last few months and have managed to try out some pretty stellar products. I’m dubbing May the month that I reached Sephora VIB Rouge (in the matter of about three months—YIKES) somewhat shamefully. Nevertheless, it only seemed natural to spread the wealth in regards to some products that really do it all.

----------

Kate Somerville EradiKate. Blemishes be gone. This is a nighttime only product as it leaves pink dots all over your face where you’ve applied the sediment, but it works amazingly. By morning, whatever freaky stuff was happening on your face is dried out and the most that you’re left with is a little redness that can easily be concealed.

Aesop Chamomile Concentrate Anti-Blemish Masque. Besides its heavenly scent, this is definitely one of the easiest masks I’ve ever used. It dries in the same manner that you would expect a charcoal mask to, and removal is mess-free. Skin is left super soft, and I find that it really helps to decrease redness.

Origins High-Potency Night-A-Mins. Also in my skincare post, I mentioned the KORRES Wild Rose + Vitamin C Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial, and how I reluctantly would have to find a substitute to it since Sephora no longer stocks the brand. Well, when I ran out of Origins GinZing Moisturizer, I picked up their High-Potency Night-A-Mins as a night cream in the hopes of filling the void of both the KORRES mask and a cream. I’m pretty sold on the product. It definitely leaves my skin moisturized and feeling very refreshed come morning. The KORRES mask definitely provided a lot more in the way of immediate brightening, but I’d say Origins Night-A-Mins more than delivers with its duality.

Dr. Brandt pores no more Pore Refiner. I first received this as a sample and went back a few days later to purchase the full-size. I’ve noticed a lot of products coming out as of late promising that poreless, blurred sort of effect on the skin. I also tried out Lancome’s Vissionaire 1-Minute Blur, and I found the Dr. Brandt primer to be far superior. It makes skin look flawless and acts as a really good base for foundation.

ASP Kitoko Oil. This guy is not new for me, but will forever remain a favorite. It’s a “blend of Karite and Argan Oils, Vitamins A & E and a natural UV Filter.” I apply it twice—once out of the shower on damp hair and again as a finishing product, and it makes my hair silky smooth and smell so good.

Sephora Formula X ‘Unmistakable’. I’m really into Sephora’s Formula X nail polish line, and I dare say that this mint shade rivals Essie’s mint candy apple. Yup, I said it.

Deborah Lippman ‘Don’t Stop Believin.’ Other than Unmistakable, this is the color that I rocked all month. It caught my eye online and I waited weeks for it to finally come in stock in stores. It was well worth the wait. It’s the perfect orangey-red for summer.

Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage in SC-1. I’m glad that I took recommendations on purchasing this concealer. It really is the perfect combo for both covering blemishes and any dark spots. I find that the lighter shade is really great at adding extra brightness on top of cheekbones without adding sheen.

Hourglass Brow Sculpting Pencil in Soft Brunette. I purchased this guy after Anna of Vivianna Does Makeup continually raves about it. For good reason! The color match is great and it’s really easy to make brows look natural but enhanced.

Anthony Logistics For Men Advanced Formula Lip Balm in Mint & White Tea. I am definitely not a lip gloss girl and have always had an issue of finding a balm that doesn’t leave a weird white-cast on the lips. I figured that a product formulated for men would likely solve both of those issues, and this absolutely does.

IN DEFENSE OF HEALTHY LIVING


I dread holiday meals with extended family, because these meals are the equivalent of judgment day. Although I try to avoid labels other than “eater of whole foods,” when it boils down to it, I am a refined sugarless, anti-packaged food, whole-grain, nut butter loving vegetarian. I eat food that is not only good for my body, but also good for my soul. At these holiday meals, I will prepare and bring my own dinner, and I will be mercilessly judged for it. I no longer defend my diet, as I have come to realize that it is just a waste of breath. I will be accused of having eating problems, and missing out on the greater things in life. While these accusations used to bother me, at this point (a decade of on-and-off vegetarianism, and a good five years of cleaning up my diet) it is a mere buzzing to my ears.

I cook. I bake. I enjoy cooking and baking, and I enjoy cooking and baking dishes that are not particularly health-friendly. Newsflash here: I do not consume 90% of those decadent meals that get posted on my social media feeds. Cue the claims of “what kind of chef doesn’t eat their own food?” I know the joy that good food brings to people. I know that the better part of the population is going to continue to eat sugar, packaged foods, fast food, and so-forth. No matter how much I try to drill it into people’s brains (to the point of argument!), my coos are changing little to nothing. Perhaps I can plant a seed, but until someone chooses to make the change to healthful living, most of what I say goes in one ear and out the other. Fine. So why do I make things that I won’t eat? Because I get it. I know very few people who will choose a raw cheesecake over the real thing, and so please allow me to make you a cheesecake. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it.

Throughout primary school, my only methods of being active were actively finding inventive reasons to skip out on gym class. When I finally started to see the importance of working out (occasionally) in high school, I would follow up those workouts with a stop at Tim Hortons. I didn’t quite get it. My diet consisted of primarily packaged meals—Lean Cuisines, Knorr stir-fry’s, juice from concentrate. My first ventures into cleaning up my diet consisted of Fiber One bars and faux-meats. It was a noble effort for a first try, and with the guidance of women’s fitness magazines might I add. Five years ago, I decided to cut out sugar and packaged foods. I made up strict eating rules and followed them to a tee. I worked out quite compulsively, developed some issues related to food and exercise, and yet received praise from myself and everyone else for my dedication. I feel a bit like I’ve been to hell and back with my eating and fitness regime, but today I’ve got it. These days I’m a bit more lenient with things (unrefined sugars are okay on occasional, and I don’t breakdown when I can’t fit in a work out). The hilarity is that I receive more critique from friends and family regarding my lifestyle these days than I did when I followed much more strict rules.

My general point here is that there is really no one correct way to eat, to exercise, to live. You can be gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, Paleo, 80/10/10, raw, macro, keto. You can be a cardio queen, a yogi, a weightlifter, a runner. There are so many options when it comes to healthy living and no one diet or no one workout is going to be a perfect fit for every individual.

While the critique that I receive used to really grind me, at some point you just gotta own it. It’s taken me a long time to get where I am today, both mentally and physically, and at the end of the day I am exponentially proud of my progress. I dare say that it’s time that we shed other judgments and be proud of where we are as individuals.

Stay healthy, whatever that means for you.

SKINCARE

I should preface this little round-up by saying that I filmed a video to talk about these products. It was not pretty. I'm definitely not made for talking on camera and am also rocking some wicked (ha! not) rougey hair at the moment. We're gonna stick to typing things out around here I dare say.

For the most part, I've always had pretty great skin. Not a whole lot of blemishes. A little dry, a little sensitive, but nothing of too much concern. THAT all changed last year when I got sick and my hormones went on the fritz. It's been an uphill battle to test products that help to get my skin back to where it once was, but I think I've more or less figured it out and thought that I would share. I'm turning into a bit of a skincare junkie. Once upon a time, I was lucky if I gave my face a wash before bed, but these days it's turned into a multiple step process that I really quite enjoy. I used to use Lush products, but after trying out every one of their cleansers and moisturizers multiple times over to no real benefit, I've made the switch over to other brands. They may not be au-naturel, but they get the job done.

The Basics

THE BASICS

Biotherm Biosource Micellar Water. I've just recently discovered the wonders of micellar water as an alternative to makeup remover. Micelles are "fatty-acid esters" that do one hell of a good job of breaking down makeup. I always felt like my face was so oily after using a traditional makeup remover (even the oil-free ones), and a micellar water is the perfect solution to that. The price on this Biotherm one is pretty generous—I think it cost me around $16. I've seen drugstore options that I might give a try once I'm out of this one to split that price in half. Hey, if I can save a couple bucks...

Dermalogica Precleanse. I am obsessed with Dermalogica products, which is unfortunate because they are so expensive. The precleanse is the next step after micellar water to really prep my skin for a cleanser. This product does a brilliant job of getting rid of any traces of makeup that might be leftover.

Honorable mentions go out to Dermalogica's Daily Microfoliant, Daily Resurfacer, Barrier Repair, and Extreme C. I tend to cycle my Derm products because they're so expensive, so once I'm out of one, I'll buy a different one of those just mentioned. They are good.

Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser. I'll leave this one short and sweet, because I don't think I'll be repurchasing it. I have a hard time finding a cleanser that I really love! I haven't noticed much of a difference since I started using this product. It is kind of cool to use though. It heats up when you rub it in, which I would like to think makes it seem like it's doing something. As far as actual results though, nothing overly impressive.

Korres Pomegranate Toner. I really didn't want to like this product. It was on my list of toners to try out after switching over from Lush, and then I discovered that Sephora is not longer stocking Korres in-store. The hassle of tracking down this product again almost deterred me from purchasing it the first time, buuut I went for it anyway. Of course, I've noticed a definite improvement since starting to use it (a mere couple of weeks), so it's that much more upsetting that I'll have to find something equally as good once it's all used up. This is a really, really great toner though.


Creams

LOTIONS & POTIONS

Biotherm Aquasource Nuit. I went into Sephora complaining of dehydrated skin and was suggested this. As a night cream, this is good stuff and really helped to restore some hydration to my skin. It's a light gel that goes on very smoothly and is quick to absorb.

Neutrogena Moisture Oil-Free SPF 30. I picked up this guy a few days ago, so it's too soon to say anything. It's my drugstore alternative to Kiehl's Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50 that I have been lusting over but have not been willing to shell out the $$. I have been using an AHA exfoliant on the reg and really needed to add an SPF to my regime to combat sun damage. So far, this has been a light enough cream to not feel like thick sunscreen. It does have a bit of an offensive sunscreen smell to it though.

Origins GinZing Energy-Boosting Moisturizer. My holy grail of day-time moisturizers. It smells great and really wakes up my skin. The results are practically instantaneous.

Kiehl's Midnight Recovery ConcentrateMidnight Recovery Eye. Confession: I have, erm, borrowed these from my mother. I am researching what I hope will be my perfect serum and eye cream, and in the mean time these are doing the trick. With daily use, they really do make a difference by morning and help to combat redness as well.

The Extras

THE EXTRAS
These are my twice a week extras. I look forward to Friday and Sunday/Monday evenings (and the mornings after) because I get to use these. They are THAT good.

Origins Super Spot Remover. The perfect product for zapping any blemishes. I don't know how it does it, but this stuff always manages to completely get rid of, or at least very much reduce the severity of any blemishes overnight. Not only that, but it does it without drying out my skin.

KORRES Wild Rose + Vitamin C Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial. Another Korres product that I'm obsessed with and need to find an alternative for (Peter Thomas Roth Camu Camu Power C x 30 Vitamin C Brightening Sleeping Mask, I'm lookin' at you). I used this sample twice a week after my masks and the results by morning were pretty insane.

Peter Thomas Roth Laser-Free Retexturizer Exfoliating Scrub. My first AHA product! I use this twice a week the morning after using my masks. It does a really wonderful job of exfoliating. It leaves my skin a bit on the ruddy side, but it clears up pretty quickly. A little on the pricey side, but well worth it.

Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal MaskDrink Up 10-Minute Mask. Oh. So. Good. The charcoal mask is one helluva lot of fun to use, and manages to draw all of the scary things out of my pores. Followed up with the Drink Up mask to restore some moisture, these two products are a winning combo when used together.

Any suggestions for other products to try out? Notably, an alternative for the Korres cleanser and mask, and a cleanser?



INSTAGRAM LOVE

My go-to for meal inspiration and overall healthy living inspiration these days tends to come from Instagram instead of blogs. There is a lot more instant gratification that comes from Instagram than having to hunt down blog posts on my seemingly endless Bloglovin' feed. I've been stockpiling Instagram accounts of some ladies who are showcasing some really lovely things right from the photography down to the actual meals. By following these accounts, I find that it's a lot easier to keep myself on track and inspired to mix things up in the kitchen. Here are a few of my favourites.


»

aussi belle All rights reserved © Blog Milk Powered by Blogger