Foxy Face Beauty

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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

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?