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Judgement Day: 2015 Resolutions I Actually Kept….

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Last year at this time I made my 2015 Beauty Resolutions public, as if stating them to the world would cause me to actually follow-through on them. Oh, I had grand plans… never mind that I was returning to work  after a glorious entire year off, and had two toddlers to chase after. I could never have anticipated the sheer exhaustion of being back in the 9 to 5 grind, the commute and combine that with the madness that a three and a one year old can concoct.

Here is a recap of my 2015 Beauty Resolutions and how they actually panned out:

I will wash my makeup brushes more often.

VERDICT: GUILTY

In 2015,  I continued using filthy brushes on a regular basis. I think I probably washed them maybe a half a dozen times through the entire calendar year (I am probably over-estimating here folks). I even blogged about the importance of beauty hygiene… what a hypocrite! The bad news – I am disgusting. The good news- I am the only person using my brushes so my filth stays within my own face’s ecosystem.

 

I will stop picking at my cuticles and hangnails.

VERDICT: NOT GUILTY

I actually Sally-Hansen-Cuticle-Massage-Creammade a concerted effort to pack cuticle cream with me at work and even apply it while I sit in horrendous traffic on the 404 on my way into work. Even remembering to do this once a week once the colder weather hits made a tremendous difference. I haven’t even had a manicure since early fall and I am not ashamed of my cuticles as I type this.

 

I will apply a foot cream. 

VERDICT: GUILTY

All I can say about this failed promise is Heaven for my feetyuck. Without regular TLC from my pedicurist at Yen Nails, my feet still look like a shoeless Hobbit. It is not for lack of product selection in my home. I struggle with finding the right time to apply it. Right out of the shower would be an ideal time, but I am often in a hurry and forget. Bedtime also seems like it would be a good time to put it on, but if I have been wearing stockings or tights to work it can make for a stinky foot (don’t cringe, we all have had this happen), it feels gross to rub cream into a smelly foot. Try again in 2016 I guess….

 

I will say goodbye/ adios, au revoir to anything in my collection that is older than my children.

VERDICT: HUNG JURY.

I still have the eye shadows pictured because I have a weird emotional attachment to them. I have, however, purged a TON of products. Anything that had an altered texture, colour or smell was tossed. Anything that I really struggled to embrace was tossed. Anything that caused my eyes to turn bright red was tossed. What did I keep? Anything that I bought on a vacation that I wouldn’t get in Canada, or items that I now deem artifacts and as soon as the “Museum of Beauty History” is created I will be a main contributor and hailed as a beauty hero. So there- that’s progress!

 

I will find a reason to wear false eyelashes once a month.More of my hoarding

VERDICT: GUILTY

I am actually wearing a set of false lashes right now in anticipation of starting off 2016 right. Last year, I think I rocked some falsies maybe twice… a far cry from the dozen times I was aiming for. However, the one time I wore them I was brilliant with them! I was attending a special event at the Toronto Benefit Cosmetics Boutique which of course called for some extra – girly glamour.  After the event,  I couldn’t wait until I got home to take off my lashes so I peeled them off in a Starbucks parking lot while a horrified bystander in a car across from me witnessed the act. You’re welcome lady!

I was driving the car that usually my husband drives so I hid each lash strip so when he would reach to lower the visor or adjust the vent he would accidentally brush his hand on it. I imagined him mistaking the lash momentarily for a big hairy spider and him screaming aloud in horror. Well, he foiled my brilliant plan not even noticing either of them and this made me so sad. But you have to admit that that lady got a show and the pre-meditative nature of a spider scare count as at least 10 wears. So, in reality I was thisclose to meeting my goal.

I will use my lipliner more often.

VERDICT: NOT GUILTY

Oh this a Beauty Resolution that I totally won! I have grown to adore my lip liners and love creating depth and highlight by using my liners. I have added a half dozen or so new lipliners to my collection (hoarder!) and use one on an almost daily basis. I absolutely love the crisp definition that a liner adds to a red lip, or shading the corners and sketching into the center a little to create an ombre effect. Yes. This was the winning Resolution!

So, that’s my 2015 Beauty Resolution recap. Stay tuned for the 2016 ones coming soon…. In the meantime, Foxes please tell me what item or technique did you add to your regime in 2015? 

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9 Things Your Face Is Begging You To Do, Or to Stop Doing


Have you ever taken a moment to ask yourself what lies beneath your make up brush bristles and on the surface of your beauty products? I assure you that for the most part, it is not a pretty sight. There may be a hidden germ army in your makeup bag! This is an area that is so often overlooked, but the repercussions can be devastating to your face, and your eye area is especially vulnerable.

Your beauty products may look OK, but it is what lies beneath that should have you concerned.Here are are 9 precautions and tips that you can take to keep it as fresh and safe as possible.

1.Sharing stuff means sharing stuff. So, if you are sharing that mascara with a friend, you may also be sharing that pink eye. If you are sharing your lip gloss, maybe you are sharing that cold sore too. When it comes to beauty, it is the time to be greedy. Just say no.

giphy2. Air is your enemy, so seal everything tightly after each use. This goes for face creams, mascara, lipsticks – everything! There is often thought put into package design to make your products less vulnerable to air, so seal them up tightly. The biggest thing you will discover from exposure to air is that your liquid, gel or cream products dry up faster, and all products may get some unwanted bacteria growth.

giphy (1)3. Speaking of air – never pump your mascara!  Each time you remove or put your mascara wand back in the tube you are letting air in that is drying out your formula. I have no idea why after all of these years I still see people doing pumping their mascara in and out of the tube, but now is the time to stop it. Now and forever. Please tell all of your friends.

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4. Where you store your skin care and beauty products really does matter.  Many people keep all of their beauty items in the bathroom, and on one hand this makes sense because that is often where the biggest mirror in the house resides. However, the heat and humidity from your shower and bath can wreak havoc on your products and cause them to spoil or change texture. I won’t even talk about what other things may be floating around in the air landing on your stuff.. The same goes for fragrances which in addition to avoiding the heat and humidity should also be kept out of direct sunlight as this can alter the juice. Ideally, store your stuff somewhere dark and cool, and away from humidity. A linen closet makes a perfect spot.giphy-2

5. Clean those nasty beauty tools! Sponges, brushes and eyelash curlers need to be cleaned often to prevent cross contamination and potentially cause infection (again your eyes are most at risk!). Not sure what to do? Get a brush cleaning spray to clean your brushes in between uses, and give them a bath once a week. Using a mild shampoo, lather the bristles in warm water and rinse until clean. Avoid getting the brush wet past the bristles as water can cause your brush head to loosen or fall apart. As for those sponges, use the same method and be sure to allow them to fully air dry to prevent mould or bacteria build up. Sponges are not meant to last forever though, so toss them after about a month or when you see signs of wear and tear.

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6. If a beauty product has changed in colour, texture or smell since you first opened it – toss it. As products are exposed to air and also to the cross contamination that is transferred between your applicators and your face, they suffer from some wear and tear that should not be ignored for long. Your foundation may separate or smell “off”, your powders may get a shiny glaze over them (usually caused by oil build up), and your mascara may start to appear dry or flake easily. These are all whispers that it’s time for them to go away now!

giphy-57. Speaking of mascara – this relationship should resemble a summer fling, not a life long commitment. Three months since opening is really the maximum amount of time you should keep a mascara, and even less if you are prone to eye infections or if your immune system has been compromised. To extend this relationship any longer is kin to thinking you can get that serial cheater to change. Like a bad boy, mascara can hurt you and bring you to tears. Infections and irritations are something you can easily prevent by tossing and replacing your mascara every 3 months.

giphy-68. Ask yourself some tough questions: When did I last wear that shiny electric blue eyeshadow? Am I realistically going to be wearing that espresso coloured glittery lipstick again? Asking yourself these sorts of questions will help keep your collection reasonably contained and as fresh as possible. Time to say buh-bye!

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9. There is more to consider than expiry dates alone. Skin care is an area that you can not forget about, especially if you are using anything with sun protection in it. You can look for expiry dates, but that alone may not be enough. Most beauty products now have an indicator symbol on the packaging that looks like a jar with the lid open, and a number on it. This number indicates how many months the product is recommended to be used once it has been opened. So, if you used a sunscreen last summer and it does not expire for another year, but the symbol indicates “12” for twelve months after opening, it is best err on the side of caution and start a fresh one.

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So now that you are armed with these tips, it’s time to clean your regime. Then, go forth and shop without guilt because you have to replace it in the name of safety.


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10 Tips For Finding Your Beauty Guru

Have you ever visited a cosmetics counter or department and felt very intimidated or even overwhelmed? With the seemingly millions of products to choose from and varying price points, it can seem impossible for the average person to navigate. That is where a really good beauty advisor comes into play. Now, I worked at counter in the past for over 15 years, and have been a lifelong shopper of beauty products, so I know how the experience can vary from store to store and even from different employees within a store.

A good beauty advisor can be a valuable asset and give you the heads up on specials and samples. They can provide you with tips and tricks to make your routine easier, and even give you makeup applications for your special events. This relationship is a delicate balance of trust and loyalty, and can be so hard to come by. I swear that it can be easier to find a life mate than a good hairdresser or beauty advisor, and when you do find them you STICK with them! Here is a guide on how to find that special someone at the beauty counter:

1. Seek out someone with a look or application techniques you would like to see on yourself – The key here is to find someone who is relatable to you and who can provide you with the kind of look you are striving for. You can tell only half of the story by the way someone looks themselves, so if you are able to see their application techniques on a client that can help paint the whole picture for you. The idea here is to find someone that is able to meet YOUR needs and understands what you require.

2. Find someone who asks the right questions – I can’t tell you how many times I have been looking for a product (lipstick, mascara. whatever) and the salesperson jumps to the easy solution of “Here’s what I use!” This tells me only one thing – that they are placing their own needs and requirements higher than what I need, or that they are too inexperienced (or lazy)  to know that they need to ask questions to identify what it is that I truly need. They should only share what they are using in two scenarios – if you ask them, or if they have already asked the right questions and are using something that would solve your beauty dilemma as well. This is advice that you can apply to any type of shopping you are doing. A good beauty advisory will follow-up your request with at least a few questions to uncover some more specific information from you to match you up with some good solutions. For example, if you are looking for a new lipstick, some good questions that  they can ask are:

  • Tell me about some brands that you have used before and liked using.
  • Is this for a special occasion?
  • Do you prefer any particular type of texture such as a gloss or something that is more matte?
  • Do you have any preferences with brands?

3.  Your beauty advisor should be current with product knowledge and trends – Beauty companies provide education opportunities several times a year to update beauty experts on new product launches, ingredients and makeup techniques. There are many training options online, and there is a world of knowledge on social media outlets like YouTube. I think this is so amazing and it allows people such easy access to knowledge about beauty. So, a good way to tell how on top of things he or she stays, is by asking them “What’s new?” or “Tell me about the new ingredient I have been hearing about to help with…” Expect them to be able to relate to what you are asking with some speaking points but not necessarily to know absolutely every single detail. If you are visiting a beauty counter where they only represent one brand they should know that one brand inside and out but also have some knowledge of other brands. If you are somewhere with an unbiased selling environment (Shoppers Drug Mart, Murale, Sephora, Ulta) then you can expect them to have a general working knowledge of most of the products that they carry, keeping in mind that some of those places carry several hundred brands.Generally though, a good advisor can speak to what is on trend at the moment (brows, contouring).

4. They keep track of what you buy – Please don’t think of this step as a nuisance, but rather as a valuable service. I can not tell you how many times I have gone in to a store to buy my favourite foundation but have forgotten the shade. If a store has it on file somewhere I can easily have it recalled and move on with my day. Same goes for any service performed on you – if you have a makeup application or skin care consultation, a file system can track everything that was used on you so you can reference it on a future visit if you decide to buy it.

5. They should make suggestions for you based on your purchases – This is often thought of as “upselling”, but what I am referring to here is a far more sophisticated customer service technique. So, rather than offering something just because you think they should go together (“Do you need a lip liner to go with your lipstick?”), a good sales person will educate you on the benefits. This can be a learning moment for the customer, and also viewed as a service. There are often times I have seen moments like this slip past the beauty advisor, and a product gets returned or the customer is dissatisfied because it really required a “lesson” on best application. For example:

“If you are looking for a way to prevent your lipstick from moving beyond your lip line, and for a way to define your lips, I would recommend that you use a lip liner like this one alongside your lipstick. Let me show you how…”

Now,  this is a two way street and it is important for me to remind you that you play a part as well. To reach a beautiful and  symbiotic relationship, here are some tips to get the best out of your advisor:

6. Shop at times when it is not crazy busy – As much as your advisor may love you and you love them, when it is busy you will not get the absolute best service. In most retailers there are demanding sales targets and minimized staffing, so the pressure is on for them to sell sell sell, and to do it at a reasonable pace. Shopping on a weekday afternoon (or whatever downtime there is) may not fit into your schedule, so talk to your advisor about times that they will be able to meet with you for a good consultation with minimal risk of interruption.

7. Share your preferences – Many retailers offer a clienteling service or at least email promotions. If  you want to be “in the know” be sure to be willing to share at least your email address. If the retailer offers the choice, take it a step further and let them know what brands you would like to hear about, and the types of promotions you are interested in (gift with purchase, etc.).

8. Plan to purchase something if you are getting makeup done – As mentioned in the first point, there are often aggressive sales targets for people working in retail beauty environments, so if you are getting your makeup done (often a free service that takes up time), reward them with a small (or large) purchase if you are pleased with their work. I don’t like to admit it, but there is nothing worse to deal with than a customer who ALWAYS wants their makeup done (for free) and NEVER buys anything from you. In beauty sales there is often a commission involved so making a purchase helps out their bottom line too.

9. Be honest about things you have been happy with or unhappy with – This will allow your advisor to make recommendations based on what you have liked in the past, or possibly resolve an issue when you didn’t have the best experience with a product. For example, I remember a time someone what very unhappy with a particular face serum they purchased from someone else. I was able to trouble shoot and ask a few questions, and I determined that she did not know that it is best applied on a damp skin. Once she went home and tried this method, she was thrilled with it! I was willing to return it for her either way (as it was from my store), but was able to problem solve by asking the right questions. The customer was happy because there was no pressure to keep trying it as I had already promised to take it back if it still did not work out for her.

10. A nice gesture never hurts – Some of my best and most loyal customers over the years would surprise me with a latte at the counter, a handmade scarf, or a lovely candle. I have also received words of thanks, cards and compliments to my boss. These gestures are not necessary by any means, but when someone makes my day like that I pay it forward and ensure the next person to visit the counter gets some TLC as well 🙂

Well Foxes, I hope this little guide helps you to find someone you love to visit and guide you along on your beauty journey!  Now, tell me where do you like to do your makeup shopping? And do you have a “go-to” beauty advisor?


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Foxy Face Needs – Hair & Body Edition

On my last Must-Haves post, I talked about the things I could not live without for my face products. Of course I thought of a few more after I posted it, but I will have to save those for another time, because this one is all about HAIR and BODY product must-haves!

As I mentioned before, I rarely buy something more than once, and if I buy it more than twice it means I really, really like it. I am exposed to many brands all of the time, and every now and again I find a few gems that I can not do without. On that note, let’s get started!

Flacon-Lait-corporel-400ml-CMJN-HDBiotherm Lait Corporel Body Milk – I first tried this body milk back when Alanis Morisette was ruling the airwaves, so that gives you an idea of how many years I have been loving this iconic lotion! Described as “deliciously smooth and fabulously fresh”, this milky lotion is one of the single most pleasant things I have ever used on my body. It does not feel sticky, greasy, or watery, it absorbs in right away and leaves my skin soft and smelling so citrusy and clean. This is a truly magical elixir of sensorial pleasures; from the impossibly smooth texture, to the fragrant yet delicate scent. This is one of those products that feels like a true escape when I apply it and it is a worthy self- indulgent treat or a spectacular gift for anyone who appreciates luxury!

Algemarin Foam Bath Original – If I am not mistaken, I remember seeing this blue container with the little sea horse on it when I was only about 4 or 5 years old. algeAs a kid, this was not MY bubble bath, but I was fascinated by the beautiful blue container and sea shell looking lid. Fast forward to when I am an adult working in a drug store- it comes in for Christmas stock and I buy one to try it out. I am now hooked forever. First of all, it turns your bath water blue. The same beautiful blue shade as the container, and it immediately transports me to another place where relaxation rules. Algemarin Bubble Bath contains mineral-rich sea algae to soothe your skin and while I do not find it moisturizing at all, I also don’t find it drying. The other feature that makes me love this product is the “fresh seaside scent”. OK, I have been seaside and it is not always that pleasant, but this product smells more like what you would want the seaside to smell like rather than how it actually smells. I have no idea how long this product has been around for, and sometimes I can not find it anywhere, but I like to have it in my house as often as possible. I suggest if you see it to try it, and if you like it stock up!

loccitaneL’Occitane Shea Hand Cream – I first tried this product last year, and praised it in this blog post. I have gone through about 5-6 tubes (travel size) of this in the past 2 months, and have the really big one now. This is fantastic cream that moisturizes, absorbs well, and most importantly it works. I know I can probably get something effective that costs a little less, but I like everything about this cream – the scent, the texture, the packaging. I need it all!

Pantene Hair Conditioner – I am not loyal to a specific type of Pantene Hair Conditioner, and will generally use any of them (except the volumizing one – I hate that one for me). I have been using their conditioners since the late 90’s, and from time to time I will try something else.725_FIND_MY_PANTENE I always end up back at Pantene. I am not particular about shampoos at all, but I need my conditioner to smell decent, detangle my fine hair easily, feel lightweight and non-greasy, and ease my styling process. Pantene is the ONLY one that hits the mark for me on all of these requirements. I have used high end salon stuff, cheap to expensive drug store stuff, and I always arrive back at Pantene.

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Living Proof Prime Style Extender Cream – This is a really new product in my must-have roster, and I don’t often consider something a must-have before I have even finished the first tube. But at the rate this little number is performing, it will surely be with me for years to come. It has literally allowed cut the amount of times I wash my hair in half! I can get away with washing my hair now only about twice a week, and this saves me so much time. For myself, all the hype around this product was true, and really with Jennifer Aniston as a co-owner did we expect less?

OK your turn Foxes! Tell me what hair and body products you can’t live without. Maybe it will encourage me to hoard a little more….


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Meet Your Match!

Back in December on Day 19 of the Foxy Advent Calendar Tip Of The Day, you first met the wonderfully talented Patrice Boudreau with a teaser on choosing the right foundation. This is a topic that deserves a deeper dive, and today Foxy Face Beauty welcomes Patrice as our guest contributor. You may recall my last post I wrote about my love affair with a foundation… I wish you will find your match too! Xoxo – Head Fox

In this world of selfies and various social media platforms capturing our every moment, it can be reassuring to put our best face forward to have the confidence to shine in every snap shot. Finding your perfect match is like meeting the partner of your dreams, and this arm candy will make your face light up like nobody else ever has!

The unfortunate thing with foundation is that if you see it, then it is generally the wrong one. Too many times the bearer of these second skins find themselves in a jungle of confusing choices, and quite frankly it could be a little intimidating.

Some good advice before you enter the world of foundation is to be prepared. Consider these three things before you begin your search for the perfect match.

  • What kind of coverage I am looking for? Do you have anything to camouflage or are you just looking to enhance your complexion? Maybe you want to simply refine the texture of your skin and make it smoother looking?
  • What is the texture you prefer to apply on your skin? Different textures are now available to please the most demanding consumer, from the ever so light mousse type to the most comforting creams, without forgetting the practical powders.
  • What should be its final result? Are you expecting to stay matte all day? Maybe you prefer to have a radiant, glowing look, or how about sparkling like a star on the red carpet!

Once you can answer all of these questions, you will be closer to finding your true love…. 

IMG_0081When you arrive at your favourite cosmetic counter, you will find out quickly that there are a vast array of foundations and many made for your skin type! The complexion products have changed quite a bit since their first days, and now they can even treat your skin as an extension of your day time treatment. You are looking for your Mr. Right, not just Mr. Right Now, so take your time and choose it right! Don’t try to rush or cheat; there is nothing worse than a mismatched foundation.

If you have a dry skin that tends to be uncomfortable and tight, ask for a foundation that will maintain hydration in your skin all day. If your skins gets shiny after two hours and you just feel like washing it, request one that will help regulate the sebum secretion. If you are spending a lot of time outside and sun is an issue, you can get a foundation that will supplement your sun care routine.

Here we are one step closer to “Mr. Right”

Now let’s visit the complex world of colour choice and find one that will embrace your complexion.  I generally encounter three types of needs:ton3

  • If you would like to create the perfect finish that will give you flawless looking skin, your choice of colour should blend into your neck and create a seamless line so you won’t have to blend the color down to your shoulders. Try three different colours that look close to your own skin tone by swiping at your jaw line, but do not blend in too much. The one that seems to disappear will be the right one! If you aren’t quite sure, put a drop on your neck, and see if it blends in totally.
  • If you find your skin is dull and you’re in search of a little brightness, choose something that has a pink undertone so it counteracts the yellowness of sallow skin. In this particular choice you will find that it is better in a low light environment or under evening lighting.
  • If you prefer to wear as little as possible, you can then choose something a little darker, but in this case the application will be very important to avoid a mask effect. You can also pick a foundation that is low in colour pigments . I find this particular choice is very popular for people that have no time or would like to create a healthy summer look. Have you ever noticed that in the summer because we are “tan” that we don’t feel the need to wear so much blush and all this tralala…well it is simply because our skin looks rested when it has a little colour!

We are so close now! What to do on your first date (aka how to apply it)

A quick and easy way to apply foundation is with your hands. The simple heat that is in our hands is just like magic – it melts the foundation into your skin and helps the foundation to embrace all the features of your face. If you choose a liquid or mousse type foundation that is not too heavy in color pigments (low to medium coverage) or one that is darker than your own complexion, you will apply only four little drops – one to your forehead, one to your nose and one on each cheek. Then blend in a sweeping motion from the center of your face toward the outside. Because you didn’t apply any on the chin area, you will drag the product from elsewhere on your face blending toward the bottom of your face. Then, the amount of foundation towards the bottom of your face should be so minimal that it should be no problem for the product to blend right into your neck and feel just like if it disappears.Products7207-275x300-149509

Using a foundation brush to apply makeup may feel more perfect, and as an added bonus you will use less than you normally would to cover your entire face. In the case of creating that perfect full coverage, this instrument will provide you with a much better finish than using your bare hands. Put a drop of foundation to your forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin. In this case the foundation colour chosen should really be blending naturally into your skin without effort and be a perfect match –  especially in the case of high coverage foundation. Then use your brush in a sweeping movement again toward the exterior of the face in all directions. You can tap or “stipple” your brush onto areas of your face that you wish to have more coverage.

Of course you might consider changing your foundation as your skin changes colour.  I always believe that you should own at least two foundations – a light colour that matches you in the winter and a darker one for the summer. The texture of these could be different as well. You might search for something more comforting and creamier in the winter, and as you get in the hot summer months a much desired light weight and oil free foundation could be your other choice. As for the spring and the fall you could simply mix the two together so you will always have the perfect tone for the season.

Here you are now! You know how to get your next love…your second skin.

 As a professional freelance makeup artist, Patrice has been working in television and on feature films for the past 20 years – Robocop and TV series Suits are recent projects.  He is cited as a source in countless beauty editorials and is a truly divine artist.

So Foxy Face beauties – do you already have a “go-to” foundation? What kind is it? Also, sending a Happy Valentine’s Day to my Foxy Friends all over the world! ♥


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Foxy Face Needs… (the Face version)

I’ve tried so many things over the years, and it is a rare occasion that I would purchase an item more than once. More than twice? That’s practically unheard of. But, there are a few of these items that do exist! I thought it would be fun to share my MUST HAVE items. These are the ones that are always on my list, and that I am grappling to get my hands on as another one is running low. It is not unusual for me to stock up on these items when there is a special promotion and have my beauty cupboards full of my own personal “overstock”. I am a wee bit of a hoarder, I will freely admit that (follow me on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook to see the evidence).

MUST HAVE red Rubber Stamp over a white background.For this post, I am going to cover off my must-have FACE items. These are not only my go-to items, but the ones that I have recommended to friends, family and customers and even some of you over the years. These are products that I consider to be the essentials to my own collection, and I would never want to be without.

Biotherm Aquasource Deep Hydration Replenishing Gel for Normal/ Combination Skinbiotherm-aquasource-visual – I love this face moisturizer. I have loved it since I worked at a Shoppers Drug Mart on Whyte Avenue in Edmonton when it was first launched. At the time (mid to late 90’s?) when this delicious cream hit the market,  there was really NOTHING like it out there. It had a cool and refreshing texture that made it feel like you were bathing your face in a tropical waterfall (too far?) and a divine smell that I will never tire of. This classic is one that I return to time and again, and I especially love to pick it up when there is a bonus set with extras included (like deluxe size cleanser and toner). This cream is primarily a hydrating moisturizer, and does not contain much in the way of reparation ingredients, but I love it so much I will use it in the day time with an SPF layered underneath, and use a more anti-aging specific product at night. Often replicated by other brands, nothing has ever come close to the amazing texture and hydration of my precious Aquasource.

Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place Makeup lauder– This is pretty much like a love story, so get your tissues ready. Just kidding, but it does span over a decade and we finally get together after way too much time apart.

I first met this baby back in the mid-90’s. At the time Ultima II Wonderwear and Revlon Colorstay were rocking the foundation world with their long lasting formulations that provided a flawless face. I loooved Wonderwear but it exited Canada around 1996-97 and I was left sad and confused. The Revlon Colorstay Foundation filled in as a weaker, but far more affordable version, but I was never truly satisfied. I found a magazine insert to get my free deluxe sample of Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation at the Bay, so I decided to check it out. They pumped a little vial full of my shade and sent me on my way to try it out. I. LOVED. IT. I used that vial up and scraped out the insides with a cotton swab to take every last wee bit out.

At the time, I could not get this makeup at the retailer that I worked for (aka no discount), so I did not permit myself the luxury of using it again for years. I bounced around from brand to brand, always hoping to find my true match once again. Around 2011, I found out that my retailer would be carrying Estee Lauder products. I had totally forgot about that foundation, sort of like a long lost love that you knew in the back of your mind was always perfect for you but through a series of missed connections, you just were never able to be together. I casually entered one of our stores to check out the counter, sort of like Facebook lurking an old flame’s profile. I looked around the counter, I looked at the eye shadows, and some of the other makeup, and then I looked at that bottle of Double Wear. Oh, I looked and I longed for what we had once had many years ago.el_sku_Y9H072_558x768_0

A demonstrator from the company asked if I needed help. I was a little nervous! I couldn’t tell her about how this was the ONE for me a long time ago, and how my cheapness and need for discounted products made me turn my back on it. I felt as though I had betrayed it, and that maybe after all these years, it would no longer light up my life like it once did. The lady had me remove my foundation, she colour matched me, and then put it all over my face once we determined the shade. It was like we were never apart! It melted into my skin immediately and camouflaged my imperfections flawlessly. The seamless blending, the impeccable coverage, the formula that lasted all day –  this foundation truly understood my needs. It was an exceptional match made in heaven. THEN, the lady introduced me to the foundation’s sibling – Double Wear Stay In Place Powder Makeup. A liquid AND a powder foundation that meet all of my complicated requirements and demanding little heart’s conditions? They had me at hello.

I am now in a polyamorous relationship with both. They are my sister-wife version of makeup. Sometimes I like one, sometimes the other, and on days when I want absolutely flawless looking skin, I use both. These are items that will ALWAYS be in my makeup bag (desk) and I pray to the Lauder gods that they never take them away.

Bioderma Sensibio H2O sensibio_h20_250ml08_gd_04– With one of these sold every three seconds worldwide, this cleansing water is clearly a must- have for a lot of people! I love this stuff so much and I usually have about 2-3 on the go at all times. I keep one in my bathroom so I can easily and gently remove my eye makeup at night. I have super sensitive eyes and they react to so many things, so it was nice to find something that doesn’t sting or burn when I use it. I also use it some nights to take off ALL my makeup. It usually takes 8-10 cotton soaked pads to get it all off, but when I don’t want to splash water on my face and wake myself up too much, this is my go-to makeup remover. I keep one at my makeup desk too so when I am applying makeup, I can quickly clean up any mistakes with it. A cotton swab soaked on one side with the Sensibio quickly evens out my cat eye or cleans up my lip line. I seriously have at least 10 bottles of this in my house right now.

s1619576-main-heroBite Beauty Agave Lip Masque – I won’t go into too much detail since I already raved about this product extensively here, but I will update you! I have since bought the Champagne shade and it is so pretty and subtle. The packaging has improved too and it is not as stiff as the metal type tube I had before but rather is a plastic one that is much easier to use. This is the newest item included in my roster of beauty must-haves, so I will award it the Rookie of The Year in my makeup bag. Lovely, lovely product.

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipsticks – Coffee Bean. Blackberry. Toast of New York. Fire & Ice. Pink In The Afternoon. These are all iconic shades that have belonged in my collection throughout the years (1987 to present). I love the look and feel of these lushly pigmented lipsticks. These formulations and shades transcend time and trends, and yet always seem to be on point. I used to play a game with a friend when we worked together in a cosmetic department. She would hold up a Super Lustrous Lipstick tester and I would name the shade just by looking at the colour of the bullet. I love that almost every single shade I have ever used in this line still exists. This is great for the average consumer because it means that there are not too many pesky discontinuations and you don’t have to run around looking for a new lipstick every few years. I have many lipsticks in my collection, but you can bet good money that I will always have a half dozen or so Revlon Super Lustrous Lipsticks kicking around. They are affordable enough that you can pick up a handful in the latest trendy shades and classic enough to wear for years, even decades. A definite must-have!

So my Foxy Friends, those are a few of my must have items for my face. What are yours? Comment below ’cause I wanna know!


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New Years Beauty Resolutions

Every time we ring in a New Year, people make resolutions – promises to themselves to improve their life and well being. These promises range from exercising more, eating better to committing time to self development and doing things like avoiding swearing or taking some classes for an interest or hobby. In my single and partying days most of my resolutions would be a direct result of whatever I was up to on New Year’s Eve – lol! Now that I am a lot more lame, my resolutions are too. I would take an educated guess that more than half of these resolutions fall flat within a few weeks anyhow, but I am making beauty resolutions this year and hoping for the best. I can do it! (Maybe).

  1. Dirrrrrty!

    Dirrrrrty!

    I will wash my makeup brushes more often. My brushes are disgusting. I know better, and now so do you. I keep multiples of each brush so I don’t have to wash them often, but even so I let them go way too long. When you use a makeup brush, the makeup, oils and bacteria build up in it. This can cause problems like making your makeup application streaky or blotchy or spreading bacteria on your face causing breakout mayhem. Plus oils collect on your brush from your face and this can transfer to your products making them yucky and potentially changing the texture of powders. So, it is a good idea to keep a brush cleaning spray on hand to do a quick clean of your brushes in between a more intense wash. I like Lise Watier Makeup Brush Cleanser and use this little treasure by spraying it on a tissue and then rubbing the makeup brush on the tissue. I repeat this process until no more colour comes off the brush. The pros of using a brush cleanser like this is that it is quick and you are able to disinfect your brushes in between uses. The downside is that I find over time the sprays make your brushes feel a little more rough and dry (due to the high alcohol content to disinfect). Nothing is quite as good as a thorough wash. To do this, I add a few inches of water to a bowl or my sink – just enough to cover the brush heads only. I wet all of the brush heads. I then put a little shampoo in the palm of my hand and work a good lather up on each of the brushes and rinse them under running water until no more colour comes out. DO NOT soak the brush below the bristles as over time this will loosen the glue that keeps it all together and your brush may fall apart.  Lay brushes flat to dry overnight on a towel and enjoy the clean and soft fluffy application the next day. NOTHING feels as good as applying powder with a clean makeup brush. I aim to do this once a week if I am am applying makeup everyday (of course I am).

    Some of my extra brushes

    Some of my extra brushes

  2. I will stop picking at my cuticles and hangnails. One of two awesome L'Occitan sets I was giftedI am notorious for this, and recently have noticed that my 2 1/2 year old daughter does the same thing almost obsessively. If I have the tiniest tear in my cuticle or a hangnail starting, I will have that whole area ripped to shreds in no time causing cracks and unnecessary pain. I hate that I do this and it really looks gross. I will have it under control for a good chunk of the year, but once the dryness of winter hits, all bets are off. To help overcome this I need a plan. I am going to carry a cuticle oil and hand cream with me at all times, and anytime I find my self with an extra minute or so I will apply them. I know all the tricks to prevent and fix this problem, but staying committed to caring for this annoying area is difficult for me. I even wrote a post about how to care for this area and you can read it here. I know better. And now so do you.
  3. Heaven for my feet

    Heaven for my feet

    I will apply a foot cream. I love how my feet look and feel when I walk out of the nail salon after a good pedicure. I vow to myself that I will do more upkeep to make this feeling last. Then, I get really lazy. Within a week my feet look like a shoeless hobbit foot and the callous build up and cuticle dryness cause me great stress. I have the driest skin ever on my body and it is annoying. My husband never gets dry hands or feet and simply cannot understand my need to constantly apply stuff. It is my cross to bear (dramatically speaking, please don’t send hate mail over my first world problem). I am trying out L’Occitane Soothing Shea Butter Foot Cream and I adore it so far. I received this in a gift set for Christmas, and I was already a huge fan of the hand cream so the fact there was a specific foot cream really made me happy. I like products dedicated to a certain part of the body, I feel that they are more legitimate. Maybe I am car-razy but that’s how I feel.

  4. Antiques from the start of the millennium

    Antiques from the start of the millennium

    I will say goodbye/ adios, au revoir to anything in my collection that is older than my children. I have a Quo Electronica Eyeshadow (a shimmery electric blue) from around 2001. I just can’t part with it, even though it looked absolutely hideous on me back then and I am certain the 14 years since I bought it won’t change the fact that it’s not for me. But I haven’t been able to throw it away. I am a product hoarder, there is no doubt. I keep beauty products forever, and some of them are like mementos of times that have passed and I have the hardest time parting ways with them. I have a Tony & Tina dark glittery green eyeshadow I bought on my first ever Sephora store visit in Las Vegas in the early 2000’s (before Sephora was in Canada). Every time I look at it I know I can’t pull it off but also can’t part with it because it reminds me of my first trip to a Sephora. Not even my first trip to Vegas, but my first trip to a STORE! These strange little items have even moved across the country with me and lived in 3 cities in two provinces and one territory. All the while I have not worn either one of them even once since they were initially purchased. I have troubles. I will try to rid myself of these relics by June. (Sad face, maybe a tear or two).

  5. I will find a reason to wear false eyelashes once a month.
    More of my hoarding

    More of my hoarding

    Speaking of hoarding, I have a thing with false eyelashes. I have a drawer FULL of these babies, and even have doubled up some of them in the package to save room and fit more in. Why? I rarely do anything more glamorous than strolling through my local Superstore buying baby food and produce, but if I see some cool lashes on sale I HAVE to buy them. It is a compulsion. I love halloween clearance when all the weird and wacky lashes go on sale. I have feathered ones, glittery ones, Katy Perry looking ones… you name it. I simply love a fun lash. Soooo, rather than getting rid of them or stopping myself from buying them, I figure I should find something to do once a month where they will be at least semi-appropriate. Do you think a trip to my local Starbucks counts?

  6. I will use my lipliner more often. Ok – here is another thing I have way too many of and I never use them. I recently watched a Vlog on YouTube from Kandee Johnson about lipliners and creating a contour and I am so so so convinced. She is right! We add contour and highlight to our eyes and sculpt our faces the same way, but then just slap on a lipstick and call it a day. Why aren’t we creating more depth and highlight on the lip? Well 2015 is the year for me to bring out my lipliners and make my lips POP! (P.S. I have fallen into the rabbit hole with YouTube tutorials and am obsessed with watching them. Why didn’t this exist when I was learning about makeup? Everyone has access to top artist tips, tutorials and technique now and it is AMAZING!)

 

So, that is it for me for my 2015 Beauty Resolutions and here is to a productive and successful 2015! Do any of you Foxes have resolutions planned? Tell me about them in the comments below, even if they are not beauty related. You may inspire me to add a few more to my personal list!