Foxy Face Beauty

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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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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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Speedy Makeup For Most Of Us

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With Pinterest, Instagram and other platforms you can find tens of thousands of absolutely beautiful and stunning makeup looks. I can spend hours looking at these and even longer emulating them or creating my own. I am in awe of videos on YouTube demonstrating how to get the “Kim Kardashian Contour” and love seeing the before and afters on these videos. But, let’s get real…unless you are an enthusiast or work in a job that requires this perfection everyday, all of this is simply too much. The average person has to get their face done and out the door in time, and many people I know will skip it altogether to meet the needs of others first.

I used to spend close to an hour applying my makeup and doing my hair each day. Then I had kids… Makeup application has become something that I have to sneak in during a nap or an episode of Dora and my hair is however it looks after I run a hairbrush through it. Or I have to do the unthinkable – wake up earlier than they do so I can shower and put on my face.

Luckily, I have found a few shortcuts along the way, and I am so thrilled with the result that I don’t think I will return to my old ways. It’s actually been quite eye-opening, and I have learned to like my face a lot more with less or even no makeup at all. I would’ve never fathomed this pre-children! Now that I really give it some thought, I was probably wearing makeup the equivalent of a ballroom gown to gym class most of the time. Maybe just a little overdone. (This is where my friends will hide their giggles and “told you so’s”!)

Please note: All beauty products pictured are my own and they are used regularly so they are not perfect stock photos.

Back to the topic of a speedy makeup application.  Here are the steps I take to get my face on in about 10 minutes or less:

  1. Moisturize – I used to apply eye cream but have eliminated this step during the day and only use it at night (if I remember). When I was new to the beauty industry I would advocate complicated 5 – 6 step skin care regimes and preach them to the eyes – glazed over moms in my store looking for a routine that would suit their lifestyle. I was a naive and out of touch salesperson when I was young,  with little understanding of how little time a mom actually gets to herself. Also, not everyone is going to put that much time in to a regime (kids or no kids). Now, I look for something in a moisturizer that does it all.
    • La Roche Posay Hydraphase UV SPF 30 is perfect for summers as it is lightweight hydration with a hefty sun protection factor (SPF)
    • If it is really humid and I don’t need the SPF I love Neostrata Oil Free Matifying Fluid. This magical concoction allows me to apply powder over top immediately afterwards without any tugging or pilling
    • Biotherm Aquasource is a winter fave and I may add a serum if especially dry
    • Lips –  Bite Beauty Lip Mask as I raved on and on about it herephoto 3-4
  2. Eyes – I start with my eyes and then work my way back to them – there are not any rules so do it in whatever order you like.
    • Gosh Forever Eye Shadow Metallic Stick in 02 (Beige) drawn on each eyelid (one swipe) and use the warmth of my finger to spread over eye lid
    • A touch of Urban Decay Walk Of Shame (WOS) eye shadow in my crease (applied with a contour brush)
    • Urban Decay Glide-On Pencil in Bourbon is a nice day eye liner and I just make a line close to my lashes and a flick at the end for a subtle cat eyephoto 5-3
  3. Face – Once my eyes are done I like to conceal and even out my skin
    • Bobbi Brown Cream Concealer applied under each eye with a large concealer brush. I draw it in the darkest hollows and use a combination of the brush and my fingers to tap it in and work all around the area (NEVER rubbing as this will irritate the eye area and remove product)
    • My routine used to consist of liquid foundation and a powder over top (a heavy coverage powder). While I adore the look that this produced (perfection) it was time-consuming and perhaps a wee bit much for everyday. Now I use Pur Minerals 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup and apply with their chisel brush. I can cover my face and blend this in under a minute easilyphoto 1-6
    • Add some contour and colour with Shiseido Bronzer – I dip my large fluffy brush and quickly swipe it on one side of fame, dip brush and do the other sidephoto-20
    • For blush I dab brush into powder by Benefit (Coralista) and apply to apples of my cheeksphoto 1-3
  4.  Eyes Again – Now I return to the eyes.
    1. Define my brows with Benefit Gimme Brow – see this post for full details
    2. Mascara the heck out of my lashes! At this time I am not super loyal to any one brand and I like to experiment or use different ones each day
  5. Lips – This is where my creativity and mood will strike. When in a hurry I like something simple and familiar. In this case it was NYC Cityproof Twistable Intense Lip Color in Ballroom Blush – this is a really fast and easy methods to apply colour on lips!

As far as hair goes, I do attempt to get away with washing it as little as possible (I went a record 5 days in a row once- to work!). Check out this post for some hair time-saving tips, and also consider using heat appliances from time to time to get some longevity in between washes, as well as creativity with bobby pins, elastics and other hair accessories.

 

 

And that’s all Foxes! Now this is NOT the makeup look I would be posting about on Pinterest or Instagram bragging about a special skill or an outstanding eye makeup, but this is a look that is super achievable by every busy person. And that, my Foxy friends, is most of us.

 On the topic of time Foxes, how much time do you spend on your face in the morning? Do you skip hair washing too sometimes?


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Baby It’s Cold Outside Part 3

Well the cold dry weather is not letting up anytime soon where I live, and each and every part of my body is screaming for hydration! I have covered lips and hands tips in the past two entries of this series- and now it’s time to talk about the largest area that requires TLC. The skin on our body tends to get pretty crocodile – like at times, and winter requires that you give it more attention than usual.

Skin suffers in the cold

Let’s start with your shower or bath time. When it’s cold outside your instincts may want you to have a good hot soak to warm up, but try to keep your bathing and shower water temperature tepid. This means lukewarm. I agree Foxes, this isn’t ideal for me either when I’m freezing, but if you use too hot of water it will strip your skin of moisture (or what’s left of it) and it will be left feeling parched, possibly even scaly. Also, limit you your soak to no more than 15 minutes.

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Now, what you use to cleanse can really make a difference to your skin health. Try to use something that mentions that it is moisturizing. I discovered Avene Xeracalm A.D Lipid – Replenishing Cleansing Oil this year. It is created for a very dry/ itchy skin, and cushions the skin while strengthening the natural barrier of your skin. This is a soap free and fragrance free formulation,  so it lathers only a little but feels creamy and soothing. Speaking of lather, you don’t need much of it. In fact, the more bubbles or lather, the more drying the soap or cleanser can often be as it strips your skin of precious oils. If you like a bar soap, often glycerine based ones are more gentle and less drying.

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A step that many of us are missing in our body care routine is exfoliating. Now, if you read my hand care blog you’ll already know this, but exfoliating is a big help to getting your supple skin to return. If your skin is dry and scaly, you end up wasting a lot of cream or lotion. It just ends up sitting on top if the flakes and scales rather than absorbing and doing the job it is supposed to. Think of exfoliating as an enabler- it lets your cream or lotion gain access! Ok, so I am a huge fan of body exfoliators, particularly a sugar based scrub. I love Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Scrub. It has enough of a scrub to really get rid of the flakes, and a refreshing smell too! When I use a scrub in the shower I like to get soaked, then turn off the water and apply my scrub. This allows me to get it all over and really give myself a good scrub before it all rinses down the drain. Note: skip exfoliating anywhere you are shaving as it will be too much action!

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Once you step out of the shower or bath, gently blot off with a towel. Don’t rub your skin vigorously to dry off because you want to leave little bit of the water on your skin. Apply your cream or lotion right away to help to seal in some of that dampness left behind, and also this will give it time to absorb before getting dressed. I found Avene Xeracalm A.D Lipid – Replenishing Balm great for the winter months, and even use it on my children as it is so gentle and healing. I also really love Biotherm Baume Corps Body Balm Oil Therapy Nutri-Replenishing Body Treatment. This has a delicate apricot scent and a very pleasurable texture that leaves your skin feeling wonderful and luxurious.

Those simple steps will help you get your skin back in shape in no time! Just because it’s the season of being covered up it doesn’t mean we should make our skin suffer.

Time to hear from you now Foxes – what is your go-to body care for the winter months? Do you have a preferred lotion, cream or other body product that is a must-have for the colder season(s)?


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Baby It’s Cold Outside Part 2

I think the worst condition I have ever seen my hands is when I worked over the winter in a post office in Edmonton. With all of the Christmas deliveries, the back door open, the wind blowing the fridgid air in, and then handling all of the parcels and papers…. every action I took in that job sucked a little more moisture out of my already desolate hands leaving them cracked and bleeding and having to wear something on my fingers that I not so fondly referred to as a “finger condom.” Ugh – that was a run on sentence if I have ever written one but I also wanted to get that memory over with quickly!

Normally, my hands are dry. My cuticles snag on things and rip and hurt. Living in Ontario now I find the summer humidity rectifies all of this and I barely need to pay attention to them at all, but once the cold hits I need to be on hand duty pretty much 24/7. There are so many hand products out there and I have tried many, but only a few I have found can stand up to a Canadian winter.

Let’s start off with this piece of advice – cream or lotion of ANY kind going on ANY part of your body will not absorb properly if your skin is too dry and flaky. You need to remove some of the rough surface in order for the cream to do it’s job best. This is where a hand scrub comes in. For some of you this may seem like an unnecessary step or a luxury, but trust me and try it! Who cares if it is a luxury, it feels AH-MAY-ZING! While there are many DIY posts online to help you make your own scrub, I tend to purchase them. I am not saying one is better than the other, I am just not a DIYer.

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There are a few hand scrubs that I have used and enjoy. Crabtree & Evelyn makes a great scrub called “La Source Hand Recovery”.  This product helps remove the dry and flaky skin with mild exfoliants. This is best applied to dry (as in not wet) hands and then you work it around by rubbing hands together. Pay special attention to the backs of hands and around the cuticle. Then, rub hands under warm water until it is all rinsed off. Immediately your hands feel smoother and look more lovely. Although this product is touted as a scrub and moisturizer in one, I would recommend applying a good moisturizer afterwards after blotting your hands dry with a towel. I have also enjoyed Mary Kay Satin Hands Satin Smoothie Hand Scrub, but it only comes as part of a set and I don’t always require the other pieces. You can use a hand scrub a few times a week or even daily in the driest of seasons.

I don’t know about you, but I really like to try a hand cream out before I buy it. This often limits me to more expensive brands as they are usually the ones that have testers. I have taken the risk of buying without trying before, and I usually end up with something too watery to do a good job, or alternately one that is too sticky and won’t rub it (subsequently leaving a film on my hands that collects dirt throughout the day so I look like I have been digging through garbage). I find L’Occitane makes wonderful hand creams that are a real treat to use AND are effective at reparation. There are a number of scents to choose from and often you can find multi-packs to get several to try. I also really like Avéne Cold Cream Hand Cream and Biotherm Biomains Hand Cream

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Application of hand cream is really important. For years I would just squirt some into my palm and rub it in. Then, I would be irritated when I couldn’t open a jar of pickles or something (I know weird) because my hands were too greasy. Well, let me give you a tip… maybe you are super smart and already use this method… put your lotion onto the BACK of your hand and then rub the backs together. Since this tends to be where you are dryer it will help distribute the lotion or cream to where you need it most. Pay special attention and rub into each finger nail and into each cuticle. Lastly, rub any remainder into palms only if you need to. Voila! Now you can open jars to your hearts content!

Nail_Care_Apricot_Cuticle_Oil_PackSpeaking of cuticles, I like to employ the use of a cuticle oil whenever I remember (not nearly often enough). This is a great way to prevent hangnails and cracks as the winter weather sets in. I am prone to the skin on the sides of my nails splitting if I neglect my hands, and this is a very painful and ugly thing to experience. The options are endless here too, but I like to use Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil. It is in a nail polish bottle so it’s small and easy to tote around, and I like to apply cuticle treatments with a brush as it is fast and easy. Truth be told, the main reason I ever purchased this particular one is I had a sample of it in a magazine insert. I used the sample, liked it and bought it. Sampling works!

There are times when my hands need an intervention due to abuse and neglect. This is when I use a night treatment that looks a little strange and makes my hubby call me “Mickey Mouse Hands” (I think he is a little creeped out by how it looks). BUT – it helps provide quick relief to painful stinging winter dry hands. Go to the drug store and buy cotton gloves. You can usually find these in the beauty section. Then at night slather on your cream of choice, or if you are like me and require major help, Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Skin Protectant. This magic elixir is a beauty fix-all for everything from ravaged hands to windburn on your cheeks. This is a truly legendary, award winning product that boasts a multitude of uses. So, once I have slather this stuff all over my hands, I put on the cotton gloves and go to sleep. The gloves allow the product to stay put and have a chance to soak in to where you want it rather than it ending up all over your sheets. When I wake up there is a noticeable difference. If my hands are really bad I will do this a few nights in a row along with the regular daytime methods noted above, and within a week my hands look human again. elizabeth-arden-eight-hour-cream-skin-protectant

What do YOU use for hands to keep the winter sting at bay? Please leave your comments and questions below- your feedback is important to me. If you enjoy this blog please feel free to share on your social media!

Up next… Baby It’s Cold Outside Part 3 – Body and Part 4 – Face… and then on to some make up stuff!