My Morning Skincare Routine

My Morning Skincare Routine

My Morning Skincare Routine

“You’re not wearing foundation?! What do you use on your skin?” are questions I find myself answering quite often. While I usually deflect the compliment and say it’s because of genetics. And while genetics definitely plays a large role in it (thanks mom) a consistent skincare routine has most definitely served me well over the years. Seeing as how some people in this world are interested in my daily habits, I thought I would share My Morning Skincare Routine a la YouTube video. Keep scrolling for more product details. 🙂


I’m a firm believer in the double cleanse. It’s a way of life I have committed to this year after realizing the magic of exfoliating followed by an additional cleanse. It’s truly a dreamy experience. Here are the cleansers I am currently using and loving:

NEUTROGENA Hydro Boost Exfoliating Cleanser
This is the first exfoliant I’ve ever used that I can use daily. The exfoliant is very mild and works well with my sensitive skin!

ORIGINS Clear Improvements Active Charcoal Exfoliating Cleansing Powder
I love using this as a face mask! But prior to receiving the Hydro Boost Exfoliating Cleanser, I was using this powder 3-4 times per week as my main exfoliant.

INDIE LEE Brightening Cleanser
This is a face wash that works overtime while smelling so dang good. I’ve sung its praise before on my Night Moves Natural Skincare Routine post. It smells like strawberries! It doubles as a mask when it’s worn for 10 minutes. And it leaves my skin feeling clean, not stripped.


Toning the skin is such an important step, especially if you’re like me and can’t seem to completely wash off all the cleanser. I buy my cotton rounds at Costco. I have yet to find a more sustainable option for these disposable cotton pads. The alternatives such as cloth pads I find absorb a lot of product so I end up using three times as much. I would love to hear if anyone else has discovered something better?

INDIE LEE CoQ-10 Toner
The first thing to celebrate is that it’s alcohol-free (bless). It’s antioxidant rich and includes super hero ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, chamomile, cucumber, sage, and rejuvenating enzymes from papaya. Sounds pretty dreamy, doesn’t it?


My morning skincare routine would not be complete without a powerful serum and moisturizer combination. As I discussed in the video, this new line I’ve been trying out is a game changer. Universkin is a base serum with added active ingredients. The active ingredients are picked specifically for each individuals skin by a dermatologist or facial specialist. I received my consultation at Lucere Dermatology in Edmonton.

My “prescription” includes SOD, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B3. I cannot stress enough how important Vitamin C is for the skin! If you haven’t watched the video, check there to find out why!

NEXULTRA #3 Moisturizer
This is a light weight moisturizer that I use both day and night. It works in conjunction with the Universkin serum and is from the same product line 🙂

Des Yeux

Lest we forget the most delicate part of the visage! The eyes of course. Moisturizing those peepers both day and night is a MUST! Especially if maintaining the integrity of the skin is a priority.

IT COSMETICS Confidence In An Eye Cream
These last couple of years have been real hard on my eyes. This is one of the few eye products I’ve used and actually noticed a visible difference in the plumpness around my eyes. Those dark circles appeared lightened and I was elated. I love piling this cream on at nighttime as well.

TATA HARPER Illuminating Eye Cream
The magic ingredient of the hour is hyaluronic Acid and this cream’s got it! It provides an abundance of moisture to the area all while brightening effects with the gold shimmer in it. It’s light, it smells good, and it does what it says it’s going to do: ILLUMINATE!

Protect Your Neck!

We must remember our beloved epidermis south of our chin. It wants attention, it needs love, it should never be left out! Keep that moisture coming!

IT COSMETICS Secret Sauce 
Besides the name being hilarious and accurate, this cream is a true dream. It’s a fantastic moisturizer without being overwhelmingly thick. Spoiler alert: this also contains my favourites hyaluronic acid and Vitamin C!

INDIE LEE Squalane Oil
If you’re unfamiliar with squalane, it’s an oil derived from the olive. And it’s a real bad ass when it comes to moisturizing. Be sure to add some of it to your top shelf asap!

SPF It Up!

All of those other steps are wonderful but will only have noticeable effects if the skin is being protected by the sun DAILY. It’s easy to assume that if it’s an overcast day that SPF is unneeded. WRONG! About 80% of those UV rays are able to pass through clouds and are secretly burning us. That’s why SPF is a non-negotiable in My Morning Skincare Routine!

SKINCEUTICALS Physical Fusion SPF 50
This weightless and tinted SPF option is one of my favourites. Since it’s so lightweight, it’s excellent to use on a day when I wear make-up. Not to mention, a little goes a long way!

NEUTROGENA Hydro Boost Water Gel Sunscreen SPF 50
Another lightweight option that soaks in fast but does not have a tint. I love using this one when I’m out and about without make-up. Or when I’m engaging in physical activities outside since it’s waterproof.

And that concludes My Morning Skincare Routine! Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂 I would love to hear what your favourite products are in your morning routine so please leave a comment below!

Photographs – Sandy Joe Karpetz

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24 Hours in Calgary

24 Hours in Calgary


As a long time resident of Edmonton, it’s only natural that I make the trek down south to Calgary a few times a year. It’s a pit stop on the way to the boarder and the mountains. Not only by function of its location is it a place I frequent, but it’s also a pretty rad place to go as a destination. Every time I’m in town, there’s always somewhere new to eat or a piece of public art to discover. I even collaborated with Calgary Tourism a couple years back on an unforgettable weekend trip. (Read The Best Autumn Weekend in Calgary).  I’ve also spent a fair amount of time obsessing over Dinner at 10 Foot Henry. For this 24 Hours in Calgary though, I have a few specific highlights. With that said, join me for a quick jaunt to the city known for it’s Stampede.


While there’s only so much one can do when driving in for the day, we were sure to check a couple of things off on our to-do list. First off, browsing the stacks of records at Recordland. If you only have 24 hours in Calgary and you love vinyl, this is a MUST. It’s easy to lose track of time flipping through new and old records. Inglewood, the neighbourhood it’s located in, is fun to stroll around too.


This whole trip started as an idea around getting a bowl of ramen at a place that came highly recommended to me. I was looking for an excuse to go to Calgary and almost as if it were meant to be, the stars aligned and a media trip fell into my lap. BOOM! My ramen quest was in full swing. Since going to Japan, I have found it hard to get excited about ramen in North America but Jinya really delivered with their Spicy Creamy Vegan Ramen. I can confirm it lives up to the statement “creamy.” It was incredible.


This quick trip was all thanks to the Hyatt Regency who so graciously showed us their newly renovated suites. I had the pleasure of staying there before a couple of years ago during Sled Island. Not only is it located right next to the c-train, it’s a walkable distance to all the best downtown has to offer. If you’re curious about my previous stay, check out my post from the Hyatt Regency Calgary. Spoiler alert: this hotel is what inspired my essential oil infused face cloths for my post 10 Ways to Make Your Home More Spa Like.

If you’re enjoying my videos be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel for all the latest & greatest.

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My Vintage Hawaiian Shirt

My Vintage Hawaiian Shirt

My Vintage Hawaiian Shirt

It is no surprise that my obscure and random interests sometimes bleed into my style inspiration. If you’ve stopped by this page a few times, you may be familiar with my on going world wide Tiki Tour. The thrill of finding a tiki bar untouched by the passing of time is a unicorn I am constantly chasing. Pair that with my love of vintage and naturally one would assume I collected Hawaiian shirts. This assumption would be correct. From children’s Harley Davidson Hawaiian shirts to this one I’m currently wearing, a gem by a Canadian designer Marjorie Hamilton. My vintage Hawaiian shirt collection is mostly in storage but this one managed to sneak into my main closet. Thank goodness because it was meant to be worn with these pants 🙂


ALDO agrerasen sunglasses – c/o
WASTED EFFORT copacabana earrings – c/o
NARS X ERDEM lip powder palette – c/o
MARJORIE HAMILTON vintage Hawaiian shirt – thrifted
VINTAGE straw bag – thrifted (similar here)
GUESS X ASAP ROCKY striped denim bell bottoms – c/o
ZARA platform sandals – c/o (similar here)

Thrifting For Labels

A funny thing happens when thrifting becomes a regular habit. When I was deep into the second hand world, I would frequent stores several times a week. I even had an Etsy shop which I’m considering reopening right on this blog! (Let me know if that’s of interest to anyone). The more I went, the more I would see the same labels over and over again to the point at which I started to develop favourites. Marjorie Hamilton became one of them and this flamboyant blouse just happens to be by her. Mr Jax (not to be confused with the Vanderpump Rules icky cast member) was another favourite label I came across repeatedly. Have you ever found vintage labels you seem to gravitate towards again and again?

photographs – Jesse Sand

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WATCH | GRWM NARS x Erdem Strange Flowers Collection

WATCH | GRWM NARS x Erdem Strange Flowers Collection

NARS x Erdem Strange Flowers Collection

The NARS x Erdem Strange Flowers collection has just landed (in Canada) and all 13 pieces are something to write home about. Not only is the packaging stunning (hello Miss Havisham meets Grey Gardens floral magic) but the product is TOP NOTCH. Of course NARS knows their formulas – the eyeshadows were pigmented and long wearing. I can say this for a fact as I went to a Moksha yoga class after filming this video and the eyeshadows STAYED ON despite the buckets of sweat pouring from my face. Side note, I do not advise going to a hot yoga class after filming a make-up tutorial. Without further adieu…. keep scrolling to watch my quickie GRWM NARS x Erdem Strange Flowers Collection review!


HOURGLASS Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil in Soft Brunette
NARS x ERDEM Fleur Fatale Eye Palette – c/o
NARS x ERDEM Night Garden Eye Palette – c/o
IT COSMETICS Superhero Mascara – c/o
NARS x ERDEM Loves Me Not Blush – c/o
NARS x ERDEM Loves Me Blush – c/o
CLINIQUE Pretty Easy Eyeliner in black – c/o
NARS x ERDEM White Phox Highlighter – c/o
NARS x ERDEM Poison Rose Lip Powder Palette – c/o
BIODERMA Sensibio H2O – c/o
NARS x ERDEM Lipsticks – c/o
TOM FORD Carnal Red Nail Polish – c/o
NARS x ERDEM Mattifying Blotting Paper – c/o

My top three must-have pieces from this line are the Loves Me Not blush, Blood Flower lipstick, and the Poison Rose Lip Powder Palette. The Fleur Fatale eyeshadow palette comes in at #4 though!

The Strangest Flowers

The NARS x Erdem Strange Flowers Collection is just what I needed this spring. It has mildly subdued eyeshadows with banging bright and moody lipsticks. The Lip Powder Palette is like no other lip product I have ever tried in my life. Unless I count the times when YM magazine used to encourage it’s readers to use lip balm and eyeshadow to create new DIY lip shades. I don’t think that counts. Regardless, I believe it’s the real hero of the collection. It really allows for creativity and experimentation when you can blend with such control. Has anyone else tried any of the pieces from this collection? I would love to hear your thoughts! Alsooo If you enjoyed this video and post, please head on over to The Pretty Secrets YouTube channel for more upcoming posts! 🙂  Thanks so much for tuning in!

For more posts like this, head on over to my BEAUTY section. 

Video + Photographs – Sandy Joe Karpetz


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OUT & ABOUT | Premium Outlet Collection Edmonton International Airport

OUT & ABOUT | Premium Outlet Collection Edmonton International Airport


Premium Outlet Collection Edmonton International Airport

Edmonton shoppers rejoice! The first official outlet mall has finally landed – pun intended! The Premium Outlet Collection Edmonton International Airport had its grand opening May 2nd to the excitement of many. The lineup on opening day began at the stroke of midnight and by 8am was wrapping around the building like a fashionable snake. Missed the first day? No worries, the festivities are continuing throughout the opening weekend. Keep scrolling for your first peek of the Premium Outlet Collection Edmonton International Airport and what you can expect from this fantastic shopping destination.


The Shops

I’m sure the first question everyone has is: “what stores can I expect to see at the Premium Outlet Collection Edmonton International Airport?” I’m all about anticipating people’s needs. With that in mind, here are some of my favourite shops I’m excited about. Keep in mind these are the real deal outlets! First off, Levi’s has landed, bless the denim gods! As well as DSW, ALDO, H&M, Forever 21, Nike Factory Store, and Kate Spade (opening this summer!) to name a few. You may also recognize a few local retailers such as Cloud 9 Pajamas and Kelly Wollf.



One of the standout features within the Premium Outlet Collection EIA is Share, a retail concept designed to host a little marketplace of local goods. It’s a combination of locally made food and items from Edmonton’s makers community. Enjoy a 49th Parallel craft brewed coffee from Square 1. Or delight in a classic Hong Kong dessert from Bubble Cream. Wondering what that is? I’m glad you asked. It’s a fluffy egg waffle paired with ice cream and should not be missed. After buzzing from those two stalls, hit Eat Clean for a nutritious and delicious meal. All while browsing the art and design from local makers. Sounds like the perfect cozy corner to me!

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Location, Location, Location!

It seems as though they have thought of everything in regards to accessibility! Not only is it easy to find off of the QE2, the 747 airport bus from Century Park makes a stop at the Premium Outlet Collection Edmonton International Airport! There is also a special shuttle from the airport should you have some spare time between flights. I foresee this being my go-to spot when waiting to pick up arriving friends and family members.

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The Amenities

There are many hurdles when travelling. The hauling of things, the security, the general uncomfortableness about the whole process. Wouldn’t it be nice to take some of the grunt work out of it? That’s where the outlet mall amenities enter. To begin with, they have a “refresh room” for travellers to change and regroup. In addition to that, there’s luggage storage, coat and bag checks, cell phone charging stations, and most exciting: DeliverEase, a parcel shipping and delivery service. Ship parcels anywhere without having to figure out how to squash them into an overflowing suitcase. There are even flight status screens and boarding pass printing stations to avoid the anxiety of missing a flight.


Opening Weekend Festivities

Opening weekend is here and there are a few ongoing events and prizes to be won from May 2nd-6th! Some of the coveted prizes are vacation packages to San Francisco courtesy of Air Canada and EIA, Grey Cup tickets, Oilers tickets, and more! Many shops are offering opening weekend specials such a Levi’s with 25% off their ENTIRE store. See the complete list of the Promotions and Events at the Premium Outlet Collection shops.


Vote For Your Tote!

Another one of the opening weekend activations is the United Way Tote Bag Contest. Myself along with other local influencers and celebrities took some time to DIY tote bags that you can vote on here: You might see a familiar picture of Saguaro National Park in there! I taught myself how to embroider just for this specific occasion so if you dig my tote, please vote on it! 🙂 For ever vote received, $1 goes to the United Way Alberta and each voter is then entered to win their favourite tote + a $1000 shopping spree from Premium Outlet Collection Edmonton International Airport! Tote bags are on display till May 23rd.


Rest, Relax, and Nosh at The Market

Finally, we have come to my favourite topic: food. To call this area a food court would be a mistake. This eating area is far too bright and airy to evoke the feeling of a classic food court. It’s more akin to being in a really nice kitchen where the furniture is moveable and the seating is comfortable. Not to mention, there’s an array of delightful places to eat and a Starbucks that offers their Nitrogen Cold Brew.

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Premium Outlet Collection Edmonton International Airport

And that concludes our tour of the first outlet mall in Edmonton! I would love to hear about your experience there so drop me a comment or an email! I’m looking forward to seeing what other stores are in the pipeline and cannot wait for Kate Spade to open this summer! 🙂

This post is sponsored by Premium Outlet Collection EIA. All opinions on this blog are my own.

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