GET READY WITH ME – New in Beauty – My June Favourites

GET READY WITH ME – New in Beauty – My June Favourites

GET READY WITH ME – New in Beauty – My June Favourites

The moment when you realize one of the palettes you just opened for the first time and fell in love with is DISCONTINUED!?! Yeah, that’s what happened when I was linking products and found out Urban Decay’s Naked Smoky palette is not longer with us…. much like Geoffrey the giraffe from Toy’R’Us (RIP x 2). With that said, get ready with me while I do my every day make up using new-in products and one discontinued favourite (RIP Urban Decay Smoky palette). So here it is: GET READY WITH ME – New in Beauty – My June Favourites. Won’t you join me?

Be sure to check out My Morning Skincare Routine to see what I do before applying buttloads of make up! JK my make up is very conservative. If you enjoy my videos, feel free to subscribe to my YouTube Channel. K thx bye 🙂

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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. 🙂

CLEANSERS

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

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?

SERUM & MOISTURIZER

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.

UNIVERSKIN Day Serum 
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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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!

THE PRODUCTS

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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BEAUTY | Guerlain Abeille Royale x Nude Honey

BEAUTY | Guerlain Abeille Royale x Nude Honey

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Oh honey!

Honey, are you in for a treat! Have you ever considered your beauty routine might be lacking a vital natural ingredient? Honey. Did you know that Cleopatra was a huge enthusiast of Royal Jelly. HONEY. It all circles back to honey, natures most perfect sweetener. (Next to maple syrup). I would like to take a minute of silence to honour all of the bees that are working hard every day to make this essential ingredient in my life.

In all seriousness though, honey is incredible. Not only is it loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals it also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities too. Basically everything you could possible want when it comes to taking care of your largest organ – your skin! That’s why I’m so excited about this latest collaboration launch: Guerlain Paris’ Abeille Royale Collection in partnership with Nude Bee Honey Co. I tried two of the releases, the Abeille Royal Repairing Honey Gel Mask and the Royal Abeille Youth Watery Oil in addition to the actual raw Nude Wildflower Honey. Spoiler alert: I loved all three. Here’s why:

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ABEILLE ROYALE REPAIRING HONEY GEL MASK

This luxurious gel mask is for hydrating and plumping. It’s a low maintenance treatment as you let it sit on your face for ten minutes and then massage the rest in – no post cleansing required! And it only takes using it once or twice a week to see the nourishing results. It’s made in partnership with Nude Honey as well!

Guerlain Abeille Royale Reparing Honey Gel Mask – $185

ABEILLE ROYALE YOUTH WATERY OIL

I think I have made my feelings known about all things “oil” in beauty products. I am a HUGE fan. The Youth Watery Oil absorbs quickly so you never feel “oily” and it leaves the skin feeling smooth and soft. Bonus: a little product goes a long way! There are two major ingredients at work in this serum: Ouessant Black Bee Honey and Royal Jelly – exclusive to Guerlain.

Guerlain Abeille Royale Youth Watery Oil – $185

 

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NUDE BEE HONEY CO. WILDFLOWER HONEY

Have you ever tasted 100% pure raw honey? There’s nothing like it. The taste is so sweet, I’m happy to consume it on its own. However, I would NEVER say NO to a baked chunk of brie to accompany it. I’m only human! Nude Bee Honey Co. was started in 2010. They are Canadian (yassss!) and dedicated to creating a raw product without articifial flavors or stabalizers. It’s not pasteurized and they never dilute the product with water either. A jar of their honey is JUST HONEY. How sweet?

Nude Bee Honey Co. Wildflower Honey – $9.99

BEAUTY | Night Moves Natural Skincare Routine

BEAUTY | Night Moves Natural Skincare Routine

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NIGHT MOVES – A WINTER SKINCARE NATURAL BEAUTY ROUTINE

As the nighttime continues to get longer and the air a little lot colder, I have needed to adjust many things in my life: vitamin D3 intake and the amount of layers I have to wear, both on my body as well as my face. My main goals are removing any dry skin and keeping my face at maximum moisture level.

Living in Edmonton poses its own amount of environmental issues for my skin (so so dry, so so cold) I find that even when I lived in Toronto and England, the wintertime always required more effort on the epidermis front. Here is my current night moves winter skincare natural beauty routine, a nighttime ritual that has been saving my skin. I would also like to note that this is completely 100% natural beauty products too which is a bonus!

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CLEANSING

It all begins with cleansing. Recently, I have been really digging the Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser ($32.00) – it doubles as an exfoliating mask when left on for 5-10 minutes! It is also high in antioxidant ingredients such as lycopene which comes from tomatoes. It has a very subtle smell and a little goes a long way. Confidently, I can say that this will be added to my top shelf repeat products.

EXFOLIATING

Twice a week it’s also necessary to exfoliate with some grit. The dry winds can be harsh on skin and sometimes a cleanser will not remove all that needs to go. 2-3 times a week I will employ the use of Rocky Mountain Soap Co’s Vanilla Coconut Revitalizing Face Polish ($17.50). Adding it to any cleanser is an easy way to incorporate it into a facial routine. I’ve been adding it to the Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser. The polish has Moroccan Lava Clay which brings me back to the epic hammam experiences from my Morocco trip last March.

LIGHT EXFOLIATING

For a quick shower face wash when running late, the Saje Konjac Care Green Tea Enriched Cleansing Sponge ($9.95) is perfect. It’s made of 100% natural vegetable fibre and is infused with green tea. I love vegetables and green tea so I naturally gravitated toward this immediately. It exfoliates in a gentle way once it’s saturated with water. It’s also very handy for when you’re traveling since it can be taken carry-on without using up precious liquid quota.

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FACE MOISTURIZING

There are a couple creams I oscillate between for maximum moisture. On most nights I will use Pura Botanicals Turmeric Night Cocoon ($62), a rebuilding night cream. It’s whipped texture feels rich and velvety when applying onto my skin. I also love that it’s turmeric based which has a host of benefits, so many that I may need to write a post dedicated to the magic of that spice.

EYE MOISTURIZING

I’ve fallen in love with Pura Botanicals Neroli Eye Ritual ($48). It’s so rich with essential oils and natural ingredients (lavender, rosehip, aloe) it moisturizes my delicate eye area skin without weighing it down. Its roller-ball applicator makes for an easy and gentle application in that sensitive area plus there’s zero waste from this product. Did I mention a little goes a long way? I’ve had this for a couple of months using it daily and less than a quarter of it is gone.

Fun fact: Neroli oil comes from the flowers on the Seville orange tree. It’s the most expensive citrus essential oil and has been used in beauty routines for centuries.

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Also… all products by Pura Botanicals are made in Edmonton! I am always so impressed by the quality of work coming out of this city…. especially this skincare line!

NIGHT TREATMENT

Herbivore Botanicals is also another brand I have been impressed with over the years. I recall stalking their simple yet lovely packaging in their Etsy shop when they first began. All of a sudden they were in Vogue and now they’re internationally recognized. It is so nice seeing a natural indie beauty line reach such widespread success!

With that said, one of their newer launches, Herbivore Botanicals Moon Fruit Superfruit Night Treatment ($78) is pretty phenomenal as well. It is comprised of fruit enzymes (Papaya, Lemon, Sugar Cane, Orange, Bilberry, Cranberry and Maple) that help exfoliate and resurface your skin; perfect for the wintertime. It also has kokum and shea butters to moisturize as well. The purpley colour comes from the inclusion of indigo root powder. I use this 2-3 times a week. It gives me a good excuse to give myself a facial massage as the product only really works when the cream is massaged into your skin. Looooove it.

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MVP OF SKIN

Finally, I would have to say that Tea Tree oil is an all around skin saviour. It doesn’t exactly belong in moisturzing or cleansing categories. It would have to be in its own category for all around greatness. Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Oil is great for minimizing blackheads, reducing redness, clearing up acne, and preventing ingrown hairs. Ultimately, this is a must have in the medicine cabinet and a staple for any beauty routine.

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In conclusion, what would a beauty post be without a flatlay of all the products together? If this were on a shelf it would surely be my #topshelfie list of the moment. The only thing missing is my deepest love, Egyptian Magic, a cream my mom randomly bought me at Costco that I fell in love with and was never able to find in Edmonton again. It also falls under the all natural beauty category. Read about my love of Egyptian Magic in my Dried Out post. Are there any beauty products that get you through winter?

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BEAUTY | Japanese Drugstore Beauty

BEAUTY | Japanese Drugstore Beauty

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I went to Japan a year and a half ago. It was such an overwhelming experience, I couldn’t even bring myself to sift through the hundreds of photographs I took while there. Now that I’ve put a little space in between myself and that phenomenal trip, I’m finally ready to delve into it. I figured starting with some beauty finds would be the equivalent of dipping my toe in a freezing pool. So here it begins, my drugstore favourites from my trip to Japan.

Let’s begin with this magical company called DHC… aka Daigaku Honyaku Center. What began as an educational translation company in 1972 is now Japan’s #1 skincare company and there’s a reason for it; their product line is understated in packaging but incredibly effective. Their Deep Cleansing Oil is the best oil cleanser I think I have ever tried, they are known for this cleanser. In fact, one is sold every 10 seconds worldwide. The original line was based on the moisturizing powers of olive oil, which has become their signature – the Olive Virgin Oil, pictured above, is another one of their bestsellers.

Other products pictured:
DHC Extra Nighttime Moisture Overnight revitalization – an intense overnight moisturizer with olive oil that promotes collagen production. I can always get behind that!
DHC Olive Body Butter – Don’t let the name fool you, this body butter packs a lot of moisturizing punch including shea butter, cocoa butter, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, squalane and argan oil.

It’s also worth mentioning the rise in popularity of snail slime mucus as a coveted beauty ingredient. Back in 2013 there were many articles about the Clinical Salon that launched the first ever Snail Facial. They take their skincare very seriously so I hopped on that bandwagon and purchased a low end hand cream… I must say, it’s very moisturizing! However, I will always have to deal with my wrinkly grandpa hands no matter how much I moisturize. Le sigh.

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According to the internet, there are 11 steps in a Japanese skincare routine and one of them is a face mask… preferably of the sheet variety. It’s no wonder they were hanging on racks in every corner of every shop I entered; each package cuter than the last, emblazoned with any mascot you can imagine, including Kumamon, Japan’s rosy cheeked bear mascot for Kumamoto Prefecture. Can confirm this sheet mask looks like the bear and is completely terrifying. I still regret not purchasing the Gudetama mask… that lazy egg is the essence of my being.

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What would have been the point of going to Japan if I didn’t bring back some fake eyelashes? The racks of face masks might only be rivaled by the fake eyelash racks in the drugstore. The quality of eyelashes vs the price is astounding; they are so inexpensive and come in multi packs. Every imaginable shape, size, texture… they have it ALL; it’s nothing like in North America. I was most excited to get my hands on some bottom lashes, a trend that has not caught on in the west. A fine tipped eyeliner is the perfect compliment to a fake lash, I have fallen for the DHC Liquid Eyeliner EX. The applicator is fine enough that it compensates for my shaky hand. It’s also smudge proof!

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Anyone else obsessed with Japanese beauty products and have some good recommendations? Since being back in North America then only way I can sate my cosmetic obsession is via the DHC online store and the Daiso, a Japanese dollar store in Richmond, BC. It is definitely worth the drive!

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