Foxy Face Beauty

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Product Review: Aveeno Fresh Essentials®

*Disclaimer: These products were supplied to me at no cost to review. This does not sway my opinion is any way and this is a review I would have given even if I paid for them.

I first used an Aveeno product back in high school when I was suffering from super dry skin. It was a body moisturizer with oatmeal and I had seen it advertised on the pages of my Sassy, Teen and Seventeen magazines. It is funny how times have changed and how we learn about things now through such wide variety of media streams! Anyhow, the oatmeal lotion was superb to heal my dry and flaky skin and I even used it on my face.

I have always associated Aveeno with oatmeal. But here in modern day, I realize that it is about so much more than just oatmeal. They have a whole range of skin care for face and body, and they even have a super hot spokeswoman – the lovely Jennifer Aniston. I will admit that it has been many years since I tried any Aveeno products, so when these items arrived on my doorstep I was eager to check them out and experience them on my skin.

The products that came are part of a line called Fresh Essentials® and they are touted to “replenish moisture to stressed skin and reveal natural beauty with ACTIVE NATURALS® ingredient, Southernwood Extract and vitamins A, C, &E.” The idea of this line is to keep what’s good for your skin IN- and the bad OUT. Now I have been working in the business a very long time, and the vitamin A, C, & E is a commonly used antioxidant cocktail that you will find in may skin care products.

SCIENCE LESSON: An antioxidant helps to block the effects of free radicals in your skin. Free radicals are are atoms or groups of atoms with an odd (unpaired) number of electrons. These can be formed naturally, but things like excess sun exposure can cause a free radical.  Once formed these highly reactive radicals can start a chain reaction, like dominoes. They can really weak havoc and react with important cellular components such as DNA, or the cell membrane. Cells may function poorly or even die if this occurs. To prevent free radical damage the body has a defense system of antioxidants.

The addition of Southernwood Extract in this formula is said to also provide antioxidant protection and help to strengthen your skin’s natural moisture barrier. This in turn will help your skin keep the vital elements like water in your skin and guard against the bad stuff from getting in (hence moisture barrier). 

The very first product that I tried was the Aveeno Fresh Essentials® Daily Exfoliating Scrub. I tried this in the morning while I showered, and I enjoyed the gentle exfoliation. It was not aggressive by any means, but it felt like something was actually in there. It did not foam a ton, which I really like because I find things that foam a lot are really drying. It rinsed away clean and did not leave a residue. I can’t say there was any significant scent in this scrub, but it had a mild and pleasant smell. This product comes in a 145 mL tube and retails between $9.97- $12.99 CAD. I will give my honest opinion here that I think this is a steal for the price.

Next, I tried the Aveeno Fresh Essentials®  Nourishing Moisturizer SPF 30. Sometimes moisturizers that have an SPF over 15 in them can be quite heavy and difficult to rub in. This was not like that at all. The moisturizer was delivered via pump, and one pump was more than enough for my face. It absorbed quickly and left my face feeling comfortable and moisturized, but the most amazing part is that I was able to apply a powder foundation over top of it about 15 minutes later without any streaking or patchiness. The lotion that I was using before I tried this never seemed to absorb and made my powder go on weird. I like this moisturizer a lot, and considering I usually spend around $40 for 50 mL, this Aveeno Fresh Essentials® Nourishing Moisturizer SPF 30 is HUGE at 74 mL and costs a mere $16.97- $19.99 CAD. 

Then, in the evening I tried the Aveeno Fresh Essentials® Hydrating Night Cream. This cream felt very nice going on my skin, and it was also quickly absorbed. I like that I didn’t feel it on my skin since quite often I find night creams to sit on top and rub off all over my pillow or make my hair stick to my face. This one was another winner from Aveeno, and in the morning I was definitely well hydrated still. This night cream retails for $16.97- $19.99 CAD for a standard size jar of 49 mL. photo 1

What I liked: You can get started on a simple skin care regime for less than $60. It felt wonderful and proved to be very effective for me as I tested this in a cold snap during winter time. Overall the line is attractive and functional.

What I would change or improve: I would like the night cream in a squeeze tube as I don’t like dipping my fingers into the jar. I would always enjoy packaging that looks more premium, but realize that would increase the price too. I honestly had to really stretch my mind to find things I would improve about this product.

Who I would recommend this to: Normal or normal to combination skin. People of any age looking for hydration and/ or sun protection built in to their daily moisturizer.

It should also be noted that these Aveeno Fresh Essentials® products are all oil- free, hypoallergenic (does not use any known allergens) and non- comedogenic (does not clog pores).

So this is my first official product review of something that I was provided at no charge to try for the purpose of this blog. I am please to have been able to review something that I actually like and can see myself using again. I wrestled with the idea of taking products from brands/ PR firms to try for the purpose of reviews because I really want to keep this blog honest, so I have decided that if I accept something to try I am NOT obligated to review it or give a BS positive review. If I like it, I will tell you. If I don’t like it I probably won’t even mention it at all. Deal?

Now it is your turn to tell me something Foxes – have you ever used an Aveeno product? Are you using any now? I would love to know!


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Day 18: Foxy Advent Calendar Tip Of The Day

As the Clarins Trainer and Special Events Specialist for Calgary, Southern Alberta & Saskatchewan, Leah Fisher has answered a lot of questions about skin care. Over the course of her almost 24 year beauty career, Leah has helped the women and men of the Canadian prairies battle the brutal effects of the harsh climate swings on their skin. This Day 18 tip will help your thirsty skin:

10815879_10152865807845987_980091080_n“In addition to your regular skin care regime, treat yourself a few times a week to a mask that will quench your skin’s thirst for hydration! When it is very cold or you have been exposed to the elements in any capacity, your skin suffers and can get easily dehydrated. You can really amp up a mask by adding in an oil that is suited for your skin issue. In the case of dehydrated skin, mix 3-4 drops of Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil in with Clarins Hydra Quench Cream – Mask. Apply the mixture to your face and leave on for 20 minutes or for very dry/ dehydrated skin massage the mask into you skin and sleep with it on. Awake refreshed and hydrated!”

Ahhh- there is nothing like a nice mask and a glass of wine… I know Leah didn’t mention wine, but what else are you going to do for those 20 minutes?

I have a question for you Foxes – do you use a mask? If so, tell me what kind and how often. I am curious to know…

 


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Day 9: Foxy Advent Calendar Tip Of The Day

It is day 9 and another beauty tip has arrived for you Foxy Friends! Allison Kulay has been working in Edmonton in beauty for 15 years. She currently is a Specialist at Sephora, and is obsessed with skin care products! Here’s a recommendation to overcome dry, flaky skin:

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“Everyone needs to know about FIRMx Peeling Gel by Peter Thomas Roth. Basically, it’s a gel – like lotion that you rub on dry skin, it ‘grabs’ all the dead skin and balls it up so you just rinse it away! It’s so much better than an actual physical exfoliant because all skin types can use it, even extremely sensitive. There’s no irritation and your skin isn’t red after. I even think it works better. I always felt like I still had dead skin around my nose after using a scrub. And in our cold (and dry in Alberta) winters, I find my foundation doesn’t sit right on my skin. This product makes everything look amazing!” s1495860-main-hero-300

An exfoliant that removes dead skin gently and makes my makeup look better? I’m in! Thanks Allison!

Do you use an exfoliator on your face? What kind, Foxes?


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Baby It’s Cold Outside: The Final Chapter

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As I begin work in this post, many of my friends live in an area with minus 40 weather happening. This one’s for you Foxes!

The face. Finally, we are going to talk about cold weather and that Foxy Face of yours. When it’s cold outside, we cover up a good portion of our bodies, but our face almost always braves the elements. The cold can make it rough, dry, flaky and you can even get a wind burn and sun burn! If you live somewhere that gets cold in the winter, you need to make a few alterations to your skin care routine.

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Let’s start with the basic act of washing your face. This may be something you do in the shower or at the end of the day to remove makeup, or both. Using something too soapy or aggressive can strip your skin of moisture even more, so you need to use something gentle. Look for a mild cleanser for your skin type. Cleansers that have a milky or creamy texture generally tend to be a little milder. Always buy for your skin type, or something suitable for all skin types. Usually an “all skin type” product is good for normal or combination skin, but if you are extremely oily or extremely dry, get something for your specific type. Vichy makes some a good range of cleansers in their Pureté Thermale line. Also check out Avène and La Roche Posay for gentle yet effective cleansers.

If you use a toner, consider using a mild one. Toners do not have to sting or feel tingly, in fact they can even moisturize skin. Whatever your skin type, ensure to get the right toner for your skin type. As mentioned above, Vichy, LaRoche Posay and Avène offer great options.

Facial Care Jar

Moisturizer is really where you will get a good bang for your buck. If you use something specific in the summer months, see if the line offers one a little heavier in the same line up but still for your skin type. Often the heavier ones just offer a little more consistency for comfort. Lots of lines offer a moisturizing serum which you can layer in below your regular moisturizer for an extra kick. For example, I really like Biotherm Aqausource for normal/ combination skin, and when it gets really cold I use the Aquasource Deep Serum along with the moisturizer. This is an easy way to winterize your skin care routine. You do not have to stick within the same brand if you add a moisture serum, and almost all skin care brands make them.

Specialty Care

Now, there have been times when I have been exposed to cold or wind so much that my skin was left dry and cracked. My cheeks had a hard shell – like feeling to them and were so sensitive to heat when I would come back indoors. Remember, there was a time when I lived in Yellowknife and temperatures quite often were in the minus 40 – 50 range. Here are some recommendations for specialty treatments when you really have an issue to contend with:

  • Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Skin Cream Protectant – Protect skin from drying wind, central heating and air conditioning. This skincare multi-tasker soothes, restores, calms and helps relieve minor skin irritations, including roughness, redness, chapped, cracked or dry skin. I recommend using this to treat, but also to protect skin if you know you are going to be exposed to extreme weather conditions.
  • La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 – For very dry and irritated skin for adults, children and babies (chapping, dry patches, diaper rash, etc.).  I have used this on my own babies for chapped winter faces and it helps heal and protect. peaux-intolerantes-creme
  • Avène Skin Recovery Cream – Calms irritation and restores the skin while helping to reduce the skin’s reactivity. Also provide long-lasting protection.

Foxes, I hope this post gives you some ideas to help keep those faces looking gorgeous throughout the colder months. Tell me, what specific face care product(s) do you use in the winter? How do you change up your skin care routine? 


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Baby It’s Cold Outside

I live in a fantasy world where it’s always sunny and warm and the air has the perfect amount of humidity. Then I step outside into the harsh reality which is a Canadian winter, and usually by this time I have neglected my winter beauty routine so badly that I am in need of some serious TLC. I reside in Southern Ontario but spent most of my years in the harsh, cold dry prairies where the little moisture that exists there is long gone by the time November hits. I also lived in Yellowknife, NWT for five years. That’s right – I KNOW cold!

This is what -42 looks like

There are many areas of our bodies that require extra care in the winter months (hair, face, appendages), but this post will focus on lips. Lips do not have oil glands, and the harsh cold, forced heat and even hot sun can leave them less than kissable. Lip products and treatments are available in every price point, and over the years I have tried dozens. I have used a few over the years that I purchased more than once, but nothing really wowed me.

I don’t know if it is my age or the fact I just birthed a tiny human, but last year my lips were parched beyond recognition. They were cracked and flaky, and the feeling was really quite stabby. With a new baby in my life, I was sleep deprived and neglected myself in order to keep the tiny human happy. Well, one day my friend Christine brought me a present that soon leapt to the top of my MUST HAVE list! First, she brought me the most delicious garlicky cabbage rolls that I am certain chased away and impending bout of the flu, but more to the point of this post – she brought me a tube of Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask.

Bite Beauty is a company based in downtown Toronto and takes a natural approach to lip care. I love to support an innovative Canadian company! Now, they are about so much more than this one awesome product, but I will leave you to discover all that Bite Beauty has to offer for yourself.

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The Agave Lip Mask is held captive in a darling little squeeze tube, and when released you will discover a nice thick texture which is almost like an ointment. It has a divine smell which comes from the blend of ingredients: organic agave nectar, jojoba oil, vanilla CO2 extract, and  antioxidant trans-resveratrol which is found in red wine. You always taste your lip products so it may as well be pleasant. This borders on delicious and you may find you having to stop yourself from licking your lips throughout the day (at least while in public). I use my finger to slather it on and then I let it settle in. It imparts your lips with a nice subtle shine and does not feel sticky or icky. This product alone brings life to a tired face and brightens my overall outlook for the day. (Maybe I went too far with the outlook comment, but I am not apologizing for it.)

Lips ahoy!

Lips fixed and foxy…

Within days this amazing elixir transformed my stinging, flaking lips back to the luscious pillows that they truly are (I’m only half-joking about the quality of my pout). I have used this product now almost twice a day for close to a year, and the tube is now getting towards the end. You really need only the tiniest amount as it melts into your lips and spreads like warm butter. Once the Agave Lip Mask has absorbed, I add my regular lipstick/ liner and/or gloss right on top! And I always put a dab on my lips at bedtime to keep them tip-top!

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Close to a year in and almost at the end

If I have to mention a downside to this product, it would be the tube itself. I find that sometimes it can be difficult to squeeze out, and the black on the tube flakes off in the most  inconvenient of places (always on my nose somewhere!). Really though, this is NOT a deal breaker and I will continue to use this lovely product, and have even decided I may try the Bite Beauty Lip Mask in Champagne – a beautiful rose gold shimmer has been added to the original formula and the result is a naturally beautiful sheen that hydrates and heals.

Toodles for now Foxes… stay tuned for winter hand tips with Baby It’s Cold Outside Part 2 coming soon!

Please leave comments so I can improve! This is my first crack at blogging and feedback is welcomed. Also, tell me what is your favourite lip product for dry lips?