Summer’s Here!… And So Is Your Shiny Skin?

A reader requested some suggestions on a great primer for oily skin, and since this is the season for oiliness, I thought to repost it here & add a few updated product suggestions.

So…Personally and dermatologically speaking, I don’t recommend that anyone use any primer, ever, on a daily basis. That being said, primers are great for a special night out or occasion or even if you have a long day of meetings and need to impress or have no time to worry about touching up your makeup.

I wouldn’t recommend a primer daily because it isn’t particularly good for your skin… It’s purpose is to impose a barrier between your skin’s oils and your makeup or to stop your skin from being oily altogether which isn’t good for the skin. If your skin produces too much oil there are always several reasons and sometimes it’s best to consult your doctor or dermatologist. It could be over-washing, stress, etc. but before finding ways to conceal oiliness, I would recommend finding ways to treat and balance the skin first.

Now down to business. The number one recommended primer for oily skin is the Laura Mercier oil free primer. You can easily pick it up at Sephora or order it online. It’s completely water based so it works well in not adding any oil as well as providing a smooth makeup application for oily skin types. If you’re using mineral makeup or powder with this primer instead of a liquid foundation, you’ve gotta give it a few minutes to dry… or it can end up altering the colour of your makeup as you apply it. If you’re very invested in making sure you’re totally oil-free then I would pair this with the Laura Mercier oil free foundation too. CoverFX also makes a great oil control powder to blot with and to powder on top of your oil-free foundation to really set your skin with a matte look.

A favourite system of mine for those with normal skin and T-zone oiliness is the Smashbox Photo Finish primer paired with the Smashbox mattifier in the T-zone since I find none of my clients want that ‘all over matte’ look which is not very natural looking.

*New fave* The Too Faced Primed & Poreless Pure Oil-Free Skin Smoothing Face Primer For Sensitive Skin. It’s quite a mouthful but it really works wonders!

To make your makeup last longer try a setting spray. The Model in a Bottle spray works well; I’ve used it on clients but find it’s not easy to find and a little pricier than other alternatives. Some people swear by the Urban Decay “All Nighter” setting spray. Personally I favour the Ben Nye “Final Seal” for my clients as I find no one has ever broken out with any skin problems after I use this on them and the makeup stays the same after I apply it; I’ve even had clients tell me their makeup looked the same in the morning after forgetting to wash their face at night! The MAC “FIX” setting spray has a lot of reviews that it works great (although not cheap) but for sensitive skin users to beware that it often causes break outs and leaves the skin slightly shiny (which I think defeats the purpose) and the skin needs to be re-powdered after use.

P.s. There is an urban myth that using ‘milk of magnesium’ on the face can stop all oiliness in its tracks for hours on end and is rumoured to be used behind many a runway show. However, I’ve never tried it, I also don’t recommend you do either, but I’ve never heard of a makeup myth that didn’t have some truth to it 😉

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How Noxzema Saved My Cheeks…

A few months ago, I had an allergic reaction to something. No idea what it was. And I broke out in all kinds of hives and rashes on my face, mostly my cheeks. I took pills and used some medicated steroid cream and it eventually went away in about 2 weeks.

After that, I noticed my skin became really sensitive and if I even just *touched* my face, I would end up breaking out and pimples would come popping out all over my cheeks. So I was in Shoppers Drug Mart (I know… again… Do not judge me please) and I saw these Noxzema Triple Clean Anti-Blemish pads in their classic cobalt blue Noxzema packaging. They were on sale for $3.49 and, in my classic style, I noticed a $1.00 off coupon just down the aisle. So I figured to try them. Nothing else was really working… my regular Cetaphil & Spectro cleansers didn’t seem to be able to handle the break outs alone and my tea tree oil stick was making my face look patchy and dry, nearly sunburnt. So with only $2.49 to lose, I grabbed a pack.

The instructions say to start with using 1 per day, then 2 per day with a max of 3 per day on the face. Well screw that! I was desperate. I started with 3 per day for the first 3 days and then 2 per day for about 3 more days. Before the 5th day, my break out was completely gone. Completely.

It’s true that I thought I might pass out from the menthol and camphor fumes, and sometimes I do plug my nose while swiping my face, but they say ‘what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger’ and here I am, with my face feeling stronger!

Moment of truth: these are dirt cheap, a jar lasts about 2 months, your breakout could clear up in a week’s time (or less!) and you have no embarrassing acne routine for people to see and poke fun at you about (i.e. the ‘toothpaste’ trick = no boyfriend wants to see that, or the ‘tea tree oil stick’ that dries out your skin in weird patches and makes you look like you got sunburned, or a bathroom cabinet full of acne products, when you could use just 1 or 2 and get the job done). P.s. these also work on your back if you have upper back acne. I recommended them to a male friend and he told me that within a week things were looking MUCH clearer!

My current routine: exfoliate, rinse, wash, rinse, use the Noxzema Anti-blemish pads once a day (on cheeks only, where my breakouts happen) and moisturize with my Clinique Dramatically Different. My current skin: so clear that I rarely wear foundation…. maybe once a week for a night out.

I love these things! And they are now one of my bathroom cabinet staples. Beware, the fumes are STRONG. Like, super strong. But these are completely worth it.

p.s. I have no brand sponsors (pffft- I wish)… So everything I buy costs me out of my own pocket and so, I am always, totally & completely honest about every product I review.

Have an acne remedy? skin cure? share it with me!

My NEW Favourite Thing!

I have so many favourite things!

One thing of which I recently discovered….

I am currently in love with the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion. In love.
It happened when, one day, I was in Sephora whoring up the skincare aisles and drooling over new product goodies, when I saw the Clinique D.D. Moisturizer on the shelves beside some Dr. Perricone moisturizer (which was 4x the price of the Clinique, by the way) and I remembered I have been meaning to try this cult-fave I have heard alot, and yet not enough, about.

So I had one of the girls make me a sample… Yes, of course I got a sample! I rarely buy a full size anything from anywhere, especially if it’s going on my face. You can never tell how something reacts to your skin when you’re trying it on in a store with dim lights and possibly other built up dirt or bacteria on your skin from the whole day prior. So, I take my half dozen sample pots home (yes, half a dozen. They were all different products, I promise). And low and behold, I end up at the MAC warehouse sale in Toronto 2 days later, before I had a chance to try the Clinique D.D. Moisturizer. Boo.

I grab 1. Only 1. I figured I may as well, seeing as it was $4 for the 1.7oz bottle which retails in the store currently for $16.

Well, I suck. I should have grabbed more. Way more. Like… all of them, kind of more.

I tried the Clinique D.D. Moisturizer when I got home (from my sample pot, so I could give away the full size to someone else if I didn’t like it). And I fell in love. It was this amazing thing that felt like egg yolks and whipped cream mixed together on my finger tips. I smoothed it over my face and it felt like I put on a moisturizing water-based gel product that literally disappeared on contact (I DID NOT try the gel version, I tried the normal version, just to clarify!).

6 days later, my Sephora sample is done and I have opened my MAC sale bottle of the Clinique stuff. I committed. Because I’m in love.

I have skin that is combination… I have dryness around the mouth and chin, oiliness in the T-zone and normal skin on the cheeks and neck. This moisturizer managed to effectively moisturizer ALL areas of my skin. I feel like it’s a wicked cure… something sinful maybe? Because I feel like skincare is never supposed to feel this good… and be so inexpensive! Holy mother… the 4.2oz bottle is $31 in Sephora stores in Canada… That would last me 6 months. It’s drugstore price!!!! Is anyone else’s heart jumping out of their chest like mine is right now???

So I fell in love. It is dramatically different, just like the name: in texture, quality, and price. Being in love like this feels like pure devine happiness. Everyone should try it. Be a sample whore… get some and try it for free. Experience a love like this.

“If you never did, you should. These things are fun, and fun is good.” Dr. Seuss

DIY Face Mask for all skin types!

Spending your Family Day or President’s Day @ home? You may as well do a DIY facial to rejuvenate your skin while playing that game of Scrabble…

Here’s what you need:

~ half a cup of plain yogurt (preferably with the active bacteria)
~ 3 tablespoons of honey
~ ground oats (just use dry oats & grind them up yourself!)

Mix all 3, scrub and slather on a clean face & neck, wait 15-20 minutes…. and presto! wash off with warm water first, then cold water & pat your face dry. This facial can be used on ALL skin types (oily, dry, combo, acne prone, aging…) and wakes skin up while exfoliating away all the little nasties that love hanging around.

The Science:
Yogurt is chock full of vitamins that are good for your skin like calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B and zinc (which is particularly good for blemishes or acne). Honey is a natural antiseptic and is great for moisturizing & killing bacteria in the skin. Oatmeal is a great natural and cheap exfoliant that becomes softened once added to this mix so it’s never to harsh to use on the face.

Try it out & tell me what you think!

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