Foundation Factoration....

Thursday, May 20, 2010
It is so tough to find foundation for my oily acne-prone skin! The following are the two foundations I have used over the past four years:

Currently using:

Vichy Norma Teint Anti-Imperfections Foundation

Purchase: $28 at London Drugs
Claims: For a clear, matt and long-lasting complexion.
Coverage: 5 out of 10
Mattifying effect: 5 out of 10
Skin clearing effect: 8 out of 10

I bought this product because a friend of mine said she loved it when her skin was breaking out because it was gentle and non-irritating. This much is true, however, I find the coverage is just not what I need for my complexion (which includes some red acne scars). Also, this stuff does not last all day. After just half-a-day of wearing it, it seems to disappear. Also, this stuff only comes in three colours. One is really light and the other two are quite dark so it is hard to match with all skin tones.

Almay Clear Complexion Liquid Makeup


Purchase: $14.99 at London Drugs
Claims: This soothing makeup works with salicylic acid, a proven blemish clearing ingredient to prevent future breakouts. Infused with meadowsweet to help purify skin as well as aloe and chamomile to protect against dryness and reduce the appearance of redness. Helps eliminates oil all day to banish unwanted shine.
Active Ingredients: Salicylic acid
Skin Clearing effect: 8 out of 10
Mattifying effect: 7 out of 10
Coverage: 8 out of 10

This is my go-to foundation. My favourite colour is 'Sand' and I can usually wear it all year round (unless I go sunless during the winter months). This stuff is great! It has acne-fighting Salicylic acid in it so that the makeup is actually HELPING your skin instead of clogging your pores. My skin never got irritated by this stuff and the coverage lasts all day long. I cannot wait until I am done with my Vichy foundation so I can go back to this stuff! I definitely recommend this stuff!

Applying foundation:
There are many different ways you can apply foundation. Here are a few I have tried:

1. With your fingers:
Applying foundation with your fingers is a great way to blend in your make up. When you apply it to your hands and gently rub it in your skin, the heat made through friction helps the foundation to blend in to your skin beautifully. On the contrary, I have found that using my fingers does not give me the same coverage as using a sponge or brush. If you are going for the more 'natural' look I would suggest using your fingers but MAKE SURE your hands are SUPER CLEAN before doing this or else the oils from your hands will just clog your pores.

2. With a makeup sponge:
There are many different makeup sponges out there. Some you can wash and use multiple times and some you throw away. Some are triangle shaped, some are round and some are egg shaped. I have only used triangle shaped ones but make sure to get the better quality kind or else they will just flake off on your face (ask your cosmetician what she recommends). When applying with a sponge you will get better coverage if you blot at your skin instead of wiping it across your face. Also, always start at your nose and work your way outwards and make SURE to blend it in to your neck! The worst thing you could do is not properly blend your makeup in to your neck/jaw line!

3. With a foundation brush:
I have just recently started applying my foundation with a brush. I went with a cheap liquid foundation brush from LD that was about $8. You can buy fancy stippling brushes from places like
Sephora or M.A.C.. I have never tried a stippling brush so I couldn't tell you how well it works. The liquid foundation brush I have works pretty well. I start at the centre of my face an work out and sometimes I even go in a swirling motion to make sure to use both sides of the brush (so that the liquid doesn't build up on one side). One annoying thing about this though is that you have to wash your brush ever other time you use it or else you will be putting old flakey makeup on to your skin, or worse, bacteria. I also suggest buying a brush with a protective lid so that it stays clean longer.

London drugs is currently having an awesome sale on Vichy product packs! Right now there are a few Vichy Normaderm packages (I can't remember what is included in them) from only $21! It is a great deal especially if you are just venturing in to using the products! I highly suggest trying them out!

Blotting Powder....

Friday, May 14, 2010
Oily skin! YUCK! The following are two of my favorite blotting products:

M.A.C. Blot powder in medium

Purchase: for $27
Mattifying effect: 8.5 out of 10
Pigmentation: 5 out of 10
Its claims: A unique pressed powder designed primarily to provide shine control without adding any noticeable colour or texture. Sets foundation, finishes faces. For use in professional situations and for frequent touch-ups.
Active Ingredients: Blot Powder contains Mica and Silica to adsorb excess oils and reduce shine on the skin's surface.

I love this powder because it is a pressed powder that I can carry around with me in my purse. It soaks up oil and doesn't over dry my skin. It is also a translucent powder so choosing a colour that matches your skin tone is not an issue.

Blotting sheets from London Drugs

I love these sheets. They are around $5 for 100 sheets and they don't add any product to your face. Instead, they just blot off the oil like the clean & clear blotting sheets which are around $8-10. I would definitely suggest this for everyone who carries a purse! You can find them in the cosmetics department at any London Drugs store!

Avene.... not so awesome products for the price

Wednesday, May 12, 2010
A little while back I dabbled in the Eau Thermale Avene product line and was not very satisfied with the results.

Cleanance K 40mL

Purchase: $28 at London Drugs
Claims: Skin care to help eliminate spots blackheads and blemishes
Active Ingredients: AHA + BHA
Moisturizing Effect: 7 out of 10
Skin Clearing Effect: 5 out of 10

I honestly didn't notice much of a difference in my skin when using this product. I also found the product went on very slick and I felt like I had sunscreen on my face. I also didn't love the smell of the product. This product is also pretty expensive so I do not think the results are worth the money at all.

Avene Clenance Emulsion 40mL

Purchase: London Drugs
Claims: Anti-shine regulating lotion for oily, blemish-prone sensitive skin
Moisturizing effect: 7 out of 10
Mattifying effect: 4 out of 10

This product sounded like the perfect thing for my skin! However, I was sadly dissapointed. It did not leave my skin looking mattified at all and went on very thick as if it were a heavy creme. I also believe the product was around $30 and does not, even slightly, compare to Vichy's matifying moisturizer. I would not buy this product again.


Monday, May 10, 2010

L'Oreal Dermo-Expertise Hydrafresh Gel-Creme SPF 15 70mL

Purchase: $13.99 at London Drugs
Active Ingredients: Ensulizole 18%, Octinoxate 7.5%
Matifying: 5 out of 10
Moisturizing: 8.5 out of 10

This used to be my go-to summer moisturizer because it has SPF 15 (although you should be wearing SPF all year round). It is a Gel-creme so it is not too greasy and is quickly/easily absorbed into skin. However, like with most SPF moisturizers, my skin did become more slick when exposed to the sun. This moisturizer got rid of most of my flakey skin, and so I still often use it around my nose area. This is a great product and comes in both normal to oily skin and normal to dry skin so is great for all skin types. I would strongly suggest this as a summer moisturizer to be put on before make up or instead of.

La Roche-Posay Nutritic Biolipides 2.5% Transforming care for dry skin

Purchase: At London Drugs Cosmetics Department
Moisturizing Effect: 10 out of 10

I love this stuff! I have been using a sample size of it forever around my nose area and it is THE ONLY THING I have found so far that gets rid of my stubborn flakes with one use each time! I use it every morning before putting on my makeup and the flakes don't come back! It's amazing! I strongly suggest this for anyone who has very dry skin. Its claim is : "Nutritic instantly penetrates the skin with no greasy residue, soothing all sensations of dryness. Continued use leaves skin feeling soft and supple with greatly improved hydration." I have been waiting for this to go on sale so that I can purchase an entire bottle of it for when I have dry skin! I love this stuff!!

My Favorite Acne Solution!

Sunday, May 9, 2010
So as you all know acne has been a big problem of mine in my adult years. I have tried a lot of products so I thought I'd share some of my findings with you! So here we go:

Spectro Deep Pore Vanishing Lotion 25mL

Purchase Price: $6.99 at London Drugs
Active Ingredient: Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5%- 5%
Effectiveness: 9 out of 10

I have been using this stuff for years! You can also purchase Clearasil BP Plus which is the exact same product, so choose whatever is cheapest at the time of purchase. The active ingredient in this is Benzoyl Peroxide, the higher the percentage the 'harsher' it is. I usually use 5% except that sometimes it dries out the surrounding skin too much, and therefore I would suggest 2.5% for sensitive skin types. This stuff takes 1-3 days to work but after that the zit is magically gone! Poof! AMAZING! I usually put it on before bed but you can put it on both morning and night.

Facial Cleansers and Toners

Saturday, May 8, 2010

ROC Hydra+ 3 en 1 (Face & Eyes) Cleansing Moisturizing Tonifying Care

Purchase: London Drugs
Packaging: 3 out of 10
Eye Makeup remover Quality: 6 out of 10
Face cleaning/tonifying Quality: 8 out of 10
Moisturizing Quality: 8.5 out of 10

I love this toner! I often like to use it after a day of work (when I have some make up on) and am then going out again so I need to re-apply. It gets most of the makeup off really well (except for eye makeup) and leaves my skin moisturized and ready for re-application! Also, it is a great toner for those of us with oily skin. Toner actually strips the skin of its natural oils and so those of us with oily skin then produce MORE oil to replace the oil that it has been stripped of, therefore, our skin can become even more oily then before. And for those of you with dry skin, the skin can become even dryer and tighter and can feel uncomfortable/flake after using toner too often. Therefore, Hydra + is a perfect solution! Toning AND moisturizer in one! I love to use this after I wash my face with a facial cleanser/scrub in order to get all the left over film off. Unfortunately, the packaging sucks. The lid to mine broke up after only a few uses but luckily the product has not dried out and it's been at least 5 months! Also it's fairly priced (under $20) and it lasts forever!! (PS. I do not suggest keeping products with broken lids though because it lets in bad bacterias and nobody wants that on their faces!)

Vichy Normaderm Daily Exfoliating Scrub

Purchase: $20 at London Drugs (Currently 25% off)
Cleaning power: 8 out of 10
Gentility: 9 out of 10

This is my go to facial scrub! I use it every time I have a shower and it is very gentle on my face and I love it! You only need a very small amount and it lasts forever! It is very gentle and has tiny micro beads that exfoliate your skin. As you all know, it is VERY important to exfoliate at LEAST once a week and this stuff is so gentle you can even use it daily! I don't suggest using it daily for those of you with sensitive skin because too much exfoliation can make the skin sensitive to everyday irritants like pollution and sun. However, I do suggest using it every second day or so to keep the skin clear of black/white heads and to help the skin rid itself of any leftover dead skin cells that might begin to clog pores.

Vichy Normaderm Gentle Cleansing Gel Cream For Clear Skin

Purchase: $20 at London Drugs (Currently 25% off)
Active Ingredients: Zincadone A + Sebo-Desolving Microdrops
Claim: Face and Eye Area are perfectly cleansed, the epidermis is mattified without over drying
Cleaning power: 6 out of 10
Gentility: 8 out of 10
Moisturizing effect: 9 out of 10
Mattifying effect: 6 out of 10

What is nice about this product is that it is gentle enough to use around your eye area which most cleansers aren't. However, I only use this product like a toner (put some of it on a cotton pad and smooth over face after cleansing). I find it is not strong enough to be used as just a cleanser. The directions say to massage the gel into your face with your fingers and then remove with a cotton pad which I find to be too messy. It also claims that it has a mattifying effect which I haven't really noticed after each use though it make work for some. Like the ROC formula, my skin feels moisturized without tightness or irritation after each use which is important for oily skin. I don't love this product and don't believe I'll be buying it again after I finish the bottle. The bottle has been lasting a very long time though which is nice since it costs less then $20 and is often on sale.

Spectro Jel Cleanser for Blemish-Prone Skin 500mL

Purchase: $9.99-13.99 at London Drugs
Claims: a gentle, non-irritating cleanser formulated to the natural pH of skin, specifically for sensitive and problem prone skin. Recommended by dermatologists. Removes dirt, oil and make-up. Moisturizes and conditions skin. Washes away surface skin bacteria and dead skin cells.

I use this cleanser morning and night! I love it! It is very gentle on my skin and won't cause over drying and is safe to use both night and morning. I usually follow this up with a cleanser to really clear my skin of makeup residue. It's cheap and comes in a huge bottle that lasts forever! A definite must-have for sensitive skin! I would also suggest using this in your morning routine if you use something else at night time (something with medical ingredients like salicylic acid). It is very gentle and I rarely break out using this stuff both morning and night!

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash

Purchase: $7.99 at London Drugs
Moisturizing: 5 out of 10
Cleaning Factor: 9 out of 10
Active Ingredients: Salicylic Acid

I used to use this facial wash when I was a teenager and had no acne issues. As I got older, (around 19) I began having issues with acne and so eventually I started using this cleanser again. I loved using this cleanser both day and night but looking back I think it was too harsh to be used at both times. My suggested use for this product is nightly to help get rid of make up and with the power of Salicylic Acid, help rid your skin of pimples. Now that I am on medication for my acne I find that I do not need to use this cleanser at night but for those of you that battle with monthly break outs or re-occurring acne I would definitely suggest using this at night and Spectro jel in the morning. I have found that for those of us with sensitive skin, using too many products containing active ingredients will cause our skin to become irritated and actually break out more than it would otherwise.

Todays topic: Everyday Eyeware

Friday, May 7, 2010

Lancome Bi-Facial Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover 125mL
Its claims:
- for sensitive eyes
- removes waterproof mascara

Purchase: $34 at London Drugs
Oiliness: 7 out of 10 (10 being the most oily)
Greasiness: 2 out of 10 (10 being the greasiest)
Remover Quality: 7 out of 10
Frequency of use: Every Day
Duration of use: at least a year

So far this is my eye makeup remover of choice. On the web page it says it is 'non oily' but in my opinion it is still very sleek and leaves some oily film on my skin. However, the film does dry fairly quickly but be sure to make sure it is all off before applying eye makeup. You have to shake it before each use because there is two parts oil to one part active ingredients. It does take off most eye makeup except I have one very tough mascara it refuses to take off in even two separate tries (Once at night and once in the morning). It usually takes a total of 2-5 to take off stubborn mascara. If anyone has some suggestions on a better eye makeup remover I am all ears!

Tarte 4 day stay lash stain

Staying power: 7 out of 10
Colour: 10 out of 10
Volume building: 5 out of 10
Lengthening: 4 out of 10

This is the 'stubborn mascara' I spoke about in the above post. If I wash it off at night with my normal face cleaner and eye makeup remover at both night and day, it usually comes off. I personally don't like this mascara because I hate the feeling of clumps on my eyelashes left over from the night before. I am also a contact wearer and it irritated my eyes a bit the next morning.

M.A.C. Cosmetics Eye Shadow

Purchase: $17.50 at
Staying power: 9 out of 10
Colour Intensity: 9 out of 10

In order to achieve the deepest colour, like most eyeshadows, you need to layer the eyeshadow. This eyeshadow is the best eyeshadow I have tested. You can use it with both your finger or brushes. I personally feel that in order to achieve the darkest tint of the eyeshadow using your finger works best. The oils from your finger (although they should be clean before you use them on your eyes) mixes with the shadow and makes for a deeper colour. I even have yellow and it goes on fairly opaque with just one application!

Over the years....

Thursday, May 6, 2010
Over the years I have spent so much time and money on buying beauty products that I thought I should start sharing my favorite and least favorite products with the public.

I am 25 years old with fair skin. I tan easily and have sensitive-acne prone skin. My complexion is fairly oily and I break out mostly around my T-zone and mouth.

Now that you know my skin type, you can more easily decide if my product reviews are right for you.

Today's Product Reviews:

Vichy Normaderm Pro Mat Hydrant ultra-matifiant SPF 15 30mL

Purchase: $30 London Drugs (on sale now for 25% off)
How long used: 3 days
Moisturizing Effect: 7 out of 10
Mattifying Effect: 10 out of 10
Staying Power: All Day
Frequency of use: Every Morning
Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 7.5%, Ensulizole 1.8%

So far this is my favorite matifying lotion! My skin seems to stay oil-free all day even with foundation/cover up on! I will keep everyone posted but so far this is my #1 matifying moisturizer! PLUS it even has SPF 15 which is a MUST HAVE EVERY DAY to keep your skin healthy, and melanoma free! Also!! London Drugs often has sales on Vichy products! Currently they have Vichy for 25% off! So make sure to check your local LD for great deals on all Vichy products.
Update May 8th: I love this stuff!I just went for a walk in the sun on a hot day and my skin is still shine free! Amazing! Something I forgot to mention before though, is that the moisturizer does not get rid of the stubborn flakes I have on my nose :( For this, I suggest a stronger moisturizer that I will talk about later on in the week!

M.A.C. Cosmetics Paint Pot

Purchase: $20 at
Staying Power: 9 out of 10 (Must use eye-makeup remover to get this product off and often takes a few tries. I suggest soaking your cotton pad in the eye makeup remover and holding it on the eye for a minute or so before gently patting the makeup away)
Colour intensity: 10 out of 10 (I only used black, however)
Consistency: medium-thick

I use the black paint pot as an eyeliner. I use a thin brow brush as an eyeliner brush as I find the teeny-tiny paint brushes (normally used as eyeshadow brushes) to be too flimsy. I LOVE this as eye liner! However, this stuff dries out easily/quickly so make sure to close the lid TIGHTLY after every use. The consistency is very thick so it is easy to work with (not too thin/watery). I would definitely suggest this as an Eyeliner, however, I have never bought a coloured one and used it as an eyeshadow.
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