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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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Day 21: Foxy Advent Calendar Tip Of The Day

Lucky Foxes – your Day 21 beauty tip is from a beauty industry rock star. With close to thirty experience in the beauty industry, Douglas Atkinson continues to bring a unique and refreshing perspective to an ever – changing business. I first met Doug in 2005 when he won a COSA for Trainer of the Year. He was the life of the party over with his quick wit, classic movie quotes and sense of humour with an edge.

As a makeup expert and trainer, Doug has worked with many of the top beauty brands in Canada. He was the official makeup artist of TV’s “Diva on a Dime” and has made numerous television appearances and been the star of many media events. He has also been a featured guest in most of the beauty retailers all across the country where throngs of women would be waiting for their time with Doug. He is able to connect with them and make the meeting about so much more than just makeup and skin care, and he lets the women shine!

Doug2pic1“I have to say that in the 28 years that I have been in the cosmetic industry that I have seen trends come and go and then return again but one thing remains constant and that is the constant desire to capture and retain beauty. Billions of dollars a year are spent on products to enhance sallow or tired complexions, reduce the sun damage that we incurred in our youth, lift a sagging jawline or fix the look of tired eyes or large pores. Trust me,  I have done thousands of makeovers with hundreds of different products and some are worth the money.

To that point,  I have had the opportunity again to experience the Darphin line of products and there are some incredible secret weapons in their line up. One of the best is the “Dark Circles Relief and De-puffing Eye Serum” . This wonderful gel actually does help with puffiness and dark circles and the result is almost instant! It doesn’t crack or get tight on the eye and it makes a visible difference if you have the issue(s) that it addresses. Is it worth a hundred dollars??? In my opinion , YES! So what if you burn the candle at both ends. Use this and even if you fall asleep at your desk you will still look good!

Another item that is worth the spend is from Dior. For years, the consumer in the know has come to the Dior counter and asked for the eponymous ‘Crème Abricot’. This odd orange butter-like looking substance in a round white container has a cult following. One thing that I noticed about the people buying it, women and men alike, is how well groomed their cuticles and nails looked. No hangnails. No ragged edges. A pot can last you long time if you are careful. Dab it on the cuticles and nails and keep them looking like you just left the shop. Is it worth $30+ ?? YES! Something you need to have in your beauty arsenal at all times . No matter what you spend on polish or what the trend is in colour if your cuticles don’t look good and aren’t in top condition your manicure will look like a ‘mani-can’t’. Worth it!”

Just in time to add to your list for some great stocking stuffers! My cuticles are absolutely ravaged this time of year and I am always so tired with the two little Foxes that live in my den – off I go to add more to my exploding collection!

What about you Foxes, would you spend $100 on an eye cream? What is the most you have spent on any skin care item?

 


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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!