6 Effective Beauty Products

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Since I’ve moved back home, I’ve finally found the time to really focus on myself, and narrow down what works effectively in my daily routine, and what doesn’t. Although this includes a very broad spectrum of forms, today I’m going to review a few beauty products that I’ve found beneficial over the pass few months, and explain why they have now become a part of my everyday routine.

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EOS Lip Balm

EOS lip balm comes in a smooth sphere for easy application that precisely glides on the lips. It has broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection. In addition, it contains vitamin E, shea butter, and jojoba oil, which keeps your lips incredibly smooth. A few other reasons I love this balm is that its 100% natural flavour, it applies completely clear, its petrolatum and paraben free, gluten free, phthalate free, and its not tested on animals.

Personally, I have never been a frequent lip balm user. However, I noticed my lips getting much more dry when I moved back to Canada, after living in sunny south Florida for years. EOS lip balm has been a go-to for me. I love how it immediately moisturizes your lips, and the flavours smell pretty but aren’t overwhelming. My favourite flavours are sweet mint, coconut milk, vanilla mint, and honeysuckle.

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Yes to Grapefruit Spray Pore Minimizing Facial Toner

Another product I’ve recently found success with is this Yes to Grapefruit Toning Mist. It’s a natural toning spray (in eco-friendly packaging), that revs up radiance and reduces the look of pores. It achieves this through ingredients such as grapefruit, kakadu plum, and infusions of vitamin C. It also delivers hydration and works wonders at setting make-up. It’s smells delicious, and is 96% natural, paraben, SLS, and silicone free, and cruelty free. You simply spray the mist onto your skin anytime you need a little extra hydration and radiance. Another plus is that it’s super affordable!

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Dior Youth-Sorbet Moisturizer and Serum Sorbet

Although these aren’t recent discoveries, these two products have been life changers. I’ve mentioned the Youth-Sorbet moisturizer in a previous post but to reiterate, it’s an extremely light-weight moisturizer that envelopes the skin in softness while deeply reinvigorating and plumping the look of facial features. It does an amazing job at making your skin look awakened, softened, and healthy looking. It’s literally the only moisturizer I will use, and have been using it for the past five years.

The Hydra Life Pro-Youth Sorbet Essence is a serum the revitalizes the skin for a healthy looking finish. All you need is one drop, and it deeply reinvigorates the skin by supporting the natural circulation of water- leaving the complexion refreshed, healthy looking, and full of life. Although these items are slightly more expensive, I can’t recommend them enough. They truly do wonders for your skin.

In a self-evaluation of 64 women, aged 26-40, with twice daily application for 21 days:

  • 100% said skin is more moisturized
  • 100% said the complexion is more luminous
  • 73% said signs of fatigue are diminished

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Eucalyptus Spearmint Body Wash & Foam Bath

I’m a huge fan of bubble baths. Pouring a nice hot bath, lighting a candle, and reading a book is how I de-stress after a busy day of activities. And this foam bath is the perfect accessory for that. It is infused with soothing skin conditioners, while an aromatherapy blend of eucalyptus essential oil clears the mind, and spearmint essential oil uplifts. Again, this is not a recent discovery, I’ve been using this foam bath for a few years and I will definitely continue to do so.

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Avocado & Oatmeal Clay Mask

I’ve never been one to apply a mask on a regular basis, however, I recently came across this avocado and oatmeal clay mask and I have truly noticed the benefits. Its rich clay dives deep to purge dirt and oils from pores. Its nutrient-rich with vitamin E, avocado and oatmeal moisturize for lasting skin softness. After use, the skin looks and feels squeaky clean and is soft to touch. Perfect for normal to combination skin. I typically use this once or twice a week, and have noticed my skin is much more radiant after using it. It’s also very affordable.

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Beauty Smoothie Shimmer Crackling Body Mousse

I came across this product by complete fluke. I was shopping at Ulta one day and picked this up right as I was checking out. Now I’m completely obsessed. This shimmer body mousse provides a cool, crackling feel when applied, leaving the skin soft and lightly moisturized with a shimmering glow. Although it doesn’t provide a huge amount of moisture, it’s very light and refreshing on the skin.

Current Beauty Cravings

  
I’ve always loved make-up, but I typically always wore the same exact products over and over. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with various different items and I’ve found a few new favs! 

1. Anastasia Contour Kit (Light to Medium)– it comes in a palette with six different shades. A couple of the shades are a little dark for my skin tone, but I love the rest. The ‘banana’ shade is my favourite. Sometimes I use it to set my foundation, and other times I just quickly throw it on, without anything else, to create an even skin tone. (Available at Sephora)

2. Bobbi Brown Blush (Desert Rose)- this has become my “go-to” blush! It’s suttle, but adds the perfect glow to the cheeks. I’m absolutely obsessed. 

3. Laura Geller Love Me Dew Lip Crayon– I bought these in a pack of three from Nordstroms. I love them because they make any look pop, and they stay on all day! I’ll definitely be investing in these again. 

Stocking Stuffers Under $100

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1. C.Wonder- Gold Monogram Wine Stopper

2. Dior- J’adore Eau de Parfum

3. Gold Cursive Monogram Mug

4. Let It Snow Perforated Votive

5. Bath & Body Works 3-wick Winter Candle 

6. NARS Virtual Domination Cheek Palette

7. J.Crew Industrial Bolt Bracelet

8. Essie 2014 Holiday Kit  

9. Japanese Cherry Blossom Gift Set 

Clutch Essentials

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Mints – When chatting at the bar or an awkwardly small table, personal-space-violations are inevitable, and fresh breath just becomes common courtesy.

Small brush – You never know when that gusty wind is going to strike. Always be prepared.

Safety pins – These little metal pins can save you from a multitude of fashion disasters, like losing a button or a broken zipper.

Cash – I’m not someone who always carries cash, but there are still places that don’t take debit cards, so having a few small bills on hand for tips and the occasional tin cup, is always a good idea…especially in big cities.

Drivers license and credit/debit cards – Both of these are probably a no brainer, but they’re also the most fundamental items in your clutch. Before you leave the house, double check that you haven’t lost these critical plastics.

Mini perfume – Mini perfume bottles are my favorite thing to keep in my clutch, handbag and makeup bag. They always come in handy and keep you from smelling like your immediate surroundings.

Change – Quarters aren’t only good for laundry day. It’s important to keep a few on hand for paying those pesky parking meters!

Pain reliever – If you’re prone to headaches like me, a pain reliever that’s in reach is a requirement for survival.

Lipstick and gloss – Eating and drinking is your lipstick’s biggest enemy, so it’s crucial to keep some color in your clutch for reapplications throughout the night.

Powder – I’ve noticed that the more fun I have during a night out, the quicker my makeup fades. A compact pressed powder should always be a beauty essential to keep your skin looking fresh instead of faded.

Pack of tissues – Tissues are great to use for blotting off surface oil from your skin and correcting make up smudges.

Backup phone charger – This little pink rectangle could save your life if you happen to get stranded without a phone in where-did-all-my-friends-go, USA. And what’s equally as terrifying is not having access to your camera and social media accounts. (Pocket Juice power bank)

Stain removing pen – To prevent yourself from having to flaunt a food or wine stain on your dress all evening, an instant stain remover, like a Tide Pen, has the power to save your garment and your dignity.

7 Braided Hairstyles for Fall

Let’s face it: There aren’t too many of us (myself included) who have time to get a blow out every single day. And while in a perfect world we would have gorgeous beachy waves in a pinch, sometimes we need a quick fix to make our hair look good. Enter: braids. Creating a braided hairstyle is the perfect solution when you want to look put together but you don’t have time for perfecting your mane. It’s my go-to when I’m trying to make my hair last between blowouts, and it works every time. Which is why I was recently inspired to research a few new ways to plait my tresses…

Each of the hairstyles below will be a perfect compliment to your fall wardrobe.

1. Braided bun

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2. French braided bun

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3. Knotted side braid

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4. Bohemian side braid

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5. Knotted milkmaid braid

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6. Full braided crown

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7. Half braided crown

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All Things Pink

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According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women (except for skin cancers) and about 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer at some point in their lifetime. These women are our grandmothers, mothers, sisters, and friends. To support them and show them our love I thought it would be a good idea to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness month with a roundup of stylish products that support the cause. Happy shopping!

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1. Stella & dot strength bracelet. $39. This adorable bracelet was inspired by the strength of the elephant. !00% of net proceeds benefit the Noreen Fraser Foundation, a non-profit organization raising money for women’s cancer awareness and creating awareness of the importance of early detection.

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2. eos 2014 Breast Cancer Awareness 3-Pack. $7.99. This special collection includes Strawberry Sorbet and Pomegranate Raspberry Smooth lip balm, plus a Berry Blossom hand lotion. A portion of proceeds will benefit Breast Cancer Research.

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3. Rebecca Taylor Double Layer Tank. $225. I love this tank’s bright color and layered detail, plus fifty percent of all proceeds will go directly to the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation.

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4. Tory Burch York Buckle Tote. $295. Tory Burch has a ton of Breast Cancer Awareness products right now—from wallets to phone cases to totes (like this gorgeous multi-tasking bag). This bag is a great size for work, school, travel, or just everyday schlepping. A fraction of the proceeds will go to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

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5. Clinique Great Skin, Great Cause Breast Cancer Awareness Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion. $38. Clinique will donate $10 from each purchase of their classic moisturizer to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. And the cute little key chains add a fun touch of pink to the packaging, don’t you think?

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6. Bigley Shoes & Clothing- SKECHERS Womens Go Walk 2 Flash Awareness Walking Shoes. $60. Support Breast Cancer Awareness with these lightweight SKECHERS sneakers. Available for purchase at Bigley Shoes & Clothing.

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7. Jo Malone Red Roses Cologne. $120. Jo Malone truly makes some of the best scents. This fragrance is a blend of seven of the world’s most exquisite roses, with crushed violet leaves and a hint of lemon. The sale of the Red Roses Cologne supports and raises awareness for The Estee Lauder Companies’ Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign.

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8. Joe’s Jeans Breast Cancer Awareness Scarf. $78. Joe’s Jeans is helping to honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month by donating 100% of net proceeds from the sale of this super soft scarf to FORCE, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.

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9. La Mer The Hand Treatment – Breast Cancer Awareness. $45. For every purchase of the silky, smoothing hand treatment, La Mer will donate a portion of the proceeds to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

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10. Cosabella Italia Soft Bra. $73.50. Twenty percent of the sales of this gorgeous lace bra will be donated to Bra Ha Ha, a fund-raising event that promotes breast-health awareness.

 

 

Your Guide to Vitamins

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If you eat a perfectly healthy and balanced diet 24/7, you are probably getting all the nutrients you need from your food…and I envy you. But if you’re like me, taking the right supplements will give your body the vitamins and minerals it needs on those days when an afternoon ice cream cone sounds better than a bowl of fruit.

Today I’ve rounded up some of the best vitamins that young women may consider taking. These are simply suggestions, and you might only need to add one or two to your diet depending on what foods you already eat. Food is your best source of nutrition, but when you have those off days, this list will help boost your body’s nutritional intake.

1. A GOOD WOMEN’S MULTI. If you’re going to choose one vitamin from this list, it should be a multi-vitamin that is made for women. Make sure it has folate or folic acid, which is very important for women ages 18 to 40, who someday want to have a family. A good multi-vitamin will give you a daily dose of all the things you should be eating in your diet…and more!

2. BIOTIN. Biotin is one of my personal favorite vitamins because it has worked miracles on my hair, skin, and nails. I take 500 micrograms a day, and ever since I started I have noticed that my hair is longer and shinier, my skin is clearer, and my nails are stronger. Many multi-vitamins have biotin in them already, so be sure you’re reading your labels.

3. IRON. Iron is a great supplement to take for women who are menstruating because your body loses iron every month. You only need about 10-20 milligrams, but it works wonders by delivering oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. If you eat a lot of red meat (say, a serving every day) you might be getting enough iron to skip this supplement. Leafy greens like spinach and kale are also great sources of iron.

4. ZINC. Zinc is an important mineral that boosts our immune system and helps fight off disease. And it is an especially important vitamin for vegetarians or pregnant women. If you’re a veggie lover, you probably eat a lo of legumes, which prevent zinc from properly absorbing in your body. If you’re expecting, you should also up your zinc intake because your little one will be using up most of the amount that’s in your body. Make sure you’re getting between 8 milligrams and 11 milligrams of zinc daily.

5. FISH OIL. This omega-3 right supplement is fabulous for healthy hair, skin, and nails, and will support your heart and blood systems. The long list of fish oil benefits also includes helping with depression, preventing painful periods, and lowering cholesterol. Take about 1-2 grams per day.

6. VITAMIN D. The main job of vitamin D is to regulate the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in your bones and keep your cells happy and healthy. The great thing about this vitamin is that our bodies actually manufacture it naturally…that is, when we’re exposed to sunlight. If you live somewhere with constant cloudy weather or long winters, you might not be getting enough vitamin D. Taking 3000 IUs should help to get you back on track.

7. RESVERATROL. Resveratrol is the powerful antioxidant that is found in grapes and red wine. Therefore, just like red wine, it has amazing anti-aging properties and is long believed to help fight cancer and heat disease. Take one capsule per day and soak up those antioxidants.

8. GREEN VIBRANCE & SUPERFOODS. One of my personal favorite vitamins that I take each day is called Green Vibrance by Vibrant Health. Each capsule is filled with organic greends, freee-dried grass juices, and concentrated super foods. I love it because when I’m having a day where I’m constantly on the go (a.k.a living off of coffee and snacks I can easily bring in my car), this supplement has a lot of the nutrients and vitamins I would get if I had the time to sit down and eat a big leafy green salad. It certainly does not replace real fruit and veggies, which should be a staple in your daily diet. But it’s packed with a lot of good stuff. You can also buy it in powder form to add to your smoothies.

9. CALCIUM-MAGNESIUM. Calcium is one of the most important supplements young women can take to strengthen muscles, bones, and teeth. And, studies show that when it’s taken as a combined calcium-magnesium supplement, it allows both vitamins to absorb better into your system. Just remember to take this supplement separate from your other vitamins and on a empty stomach- otherwise it can interfere with the absorption of your other nutrients. The recommended dosage is 1000 milligrams of calcium and 400-600 milligrams of magnesium.

10. PROBIOTIC. Taking a great probiotic supplement is an amazing way to maintain intestinal functions and keep your gut and stomach healthy. Probiotics are live organisms that are considered “good” bacteria, or bacteria that strengthen the immune system and help us to digest food. My favorite probiotic is Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics Original Formula. Just like calcium-magnesium, make sure to take this supplement on an empty stomach as well.

As with all things in life, take these suggestions in moderation. Just as there are side effects for eating too much of anything, there are side effects of taking too many vitamins. Do what feels right for your body and contact a nutritionist or a trusted doctor to help you come up with a routine that works for you.