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My Vacation Beauty Bag

My Vacation Beauty Bag



 My boyfriend and I are used to taking long trips to far away places. Luckily, I have the luxury of taking vacation whenever I want however he doesn't so I'm pretty damn grateful that he's always willing to take that 24+ hour journey to Asia while he could be laying out on the sand sipping on rum punch. This year things are a little different with Quinn in the mix and both of us want nothing more than to sit 👏 the 👏 heck 👏 down 👏 and enjoy a little relaxing family time. We're headed to Cuba this Friday and while my parents are there right now they reported back to me that things are a little rainy and chilly. I won't let that get me down cause mama is ready for anything but snow.

I don't like to wear a lot of makeup in general and even less when on vacation so I've packed minimally. I am however missing a glycolic toner in my bag and mine from Vichy is too big and heavy to travel with so I'm going to pass by the pharmacy today and pick up a jar of the Pixi Glow Tonic To Go.

Other skincare products I'm bringing with me include First Aid Beauty's Skin Cleanser which I haven't tried yet as I've been staying away from soapy cleansers this winter, but what a great time to finally try it out! Also, Clinique Moisture Surge Spray which will come in handy to rehydrate my skin after cleansing it. Luckily, I have a sample sized jar of Tatcha's The Water Cream that I refill using my normal sized jar so I can keep the ingredients inside stable for longer. This cream with what vacation should always smell like. I really wish they made a candle!

Something new that I bought for this trip is a travel sized bottle of Bioderma's Micellaire Water. I currently use the Sensibio which I love quite a bit but I'm looking forward to seeing how hydrating the Hydrabio is.

For my lips, I'm bringing my trusty Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask. I can't go a night without this! It has single handedly changed my lip care and the colour is so pretty that I can wear it throughout the day as well if needed.

Most importantly I'm bringing my trusty Neutrogena Sunscreen because after using all those creams, oils and peels, who cares if you're not protecting your skin from the sun?

 For my hair I'm bringing a travel bottle filled with whatever I'm currently using. I'm not loyal to any particular shampoo but I've been using Herbal Essences NAKED volume White Grapefruit & Mosa Mint for a few months now just because it smells so freaking good! Like... REALLY freaking good. For conditioner I've been really enjoying Aussie's 3 Minute Miracle Moist. Every winter I suffer from uncontrollable static-y hair but this guy does a pretty good job at keeping my hair hydrated.

I also love this hair oil by OUAI which I have a travel sized and regular bottle of. My hair gets pretty crazy in humid weather so a good nourishing hair oil is always needed.

Another product that saves me in humid weather is Lush's Silky Underwear. Something that makes me forget all about the horrible chub rub! Especially after having a baby, I'm a lot more sweaty now so I like to smooth this dusting powder all over.

For makeup I'm only bringing three things. My NARS illuminator in Orgasm which you can see is pretty old from the old version of the packaging. I always forget I own this but I love it so, so, so very much! It gives you the perfect dewy glow. My absolute favourite cover-up compact by RCMA which has five different tones to perfectly match your complexion. You can read my full review here. Finally, a mascara from Rodial for when I might want to look a bit more put together. This one looks perfectly natural, my lashes but better kind of thing.

I'm also bringing a bar of soap from Le Labo. A few summers ago when I was staying at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto for a really amazing Tim Horton's conference, the cleaning crew left me a buttload of Le Labo products everyday (always tip your service people!). I still have a bunch left and I always bring some on vacation because their products smell so, so good.

This will be my last post until I come back from vacation but in the meantime if anyone has anything must-haves that they bring on vacation, I would love to know!
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Shubana Alam
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First Aid Beauty's Ginger & Turmeric Vitamin C Jelly Mask, is it as Cool as it Looks?

First Aid Beauty's Ginger & Turmeric Vitamin C Jelly Mask, is it as Cool as it Looks?


First Aid Beauty's Ginger & Turmeric Vitamin C Jelly Mask

I was immediately attracted to this mask when I saw it popping up online. I'm all about ginger and turmeric and the bright orange colour and jello texture seemed right up my alley for a fun mask to do when I needed to zen out and clear my thoughts.

Scoop this up into your fingers and apply a generous amount all over your face and leave it on for 10 minutes. The ginger is to help calm and soothe skin while the turmeric should brighten your complexion. The vitamin C in the formula is to brighten the skin and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. there is also lactic acid which is a great gentle chemical exfoliator that helps fade hyper pigmentation, reduce wrinkles, control oil production, brighten skin tone and improve texture.


After using it a few times, every time, I noticed my skin felt smoother (thanks lactic acid!) but I was really hoping for a dose of hydration which this didn't give me and if it had been able to provide that, I would be able to rate this mask better. I didn't notice any brightening effects and unfortunatly all that good vitamin c becomes unstable once you open the jar.

For what it's worth, the scent is phenomenal and perfect for, let's say, an after yoga beauty treat. If you're into essential oils and how scents affect your mental state, then this guy is for you but as far as a mask that delivers results, there are far more out there that offer more.


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Tatcha's The Water Cream, a Bestselling Cream for a Good Cause

Tatcha's The Water Cream, a Bestselling Cream for a Good Cause



I picked up a sample of this cream as a Sephora reward not knowing it's their best selling cream right now. Later that night when I was prepping my skin for bedtime, I applied a little of this cream onto my face and was amazed at how hydrating and soothing it was.

I had never used a water cream until now and I have to say I've totally converted! I used to rely heavily on thick and oily creams at night to soothe my moisture barrier but this cream does the trick, day or night, oil-free and everything!

The cream is actually gel-like and a little goes a very long way. As you massage it into you face, it literally transforms into a watery formula that slips and slides all over your skin. Let it sink in for a minute and there's no sticky residue.

So, what's in this thing that makes it so special? Can you believe that there's gold in the ingredient list and it's not even named after it? Like, y'know... this cream is so good, we threw gold in it and didn't even call it The Gold Cream. Well, apparently gold is an antioxidant but not such a great one so let's move on to what really makes this cream shine.

Algae, rice and green tea work as powerful antioxidants. Japanese wild rose improves skin tone and texture and claims to tighten pores while Japanese leopard lily helps control oil production and clarify skin. Apparently Tatcha has researched 200 year old text's from Japan's Edo period to formulate this cream and are using the ingredients that Geisha's used for their beauty rituals.

I really love the little golden spoon it comes with so you don't have to dip your fingers into the jar. I honestly always kind of scoffed at the absurdity of a utensil being included with skincare products but when you have a product that feels so luxurious, a spoon is definitely welcome!

I love playing around with new products and testing different arrangements of routines and I especially love masking with Aztec Healing Clay. These are all things that cause some sensitivity to my skin but once I had introduced this cream to my daily AM and PM routine, my skin has returned back to it's normal bouncy self no matter what curve ball I throw at it.

I have since purchased a full sized jar and with each sale of a Tatcha product, they help send girls to school in developing countries. Last year, Tatcha celebrated the funding of 1 million days of school!

Tatcha's The Water Cream at Sephora 

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What Puts the Glow in Pixi's Glow Mist?

What Puts the Glow in Pixi's Glow Mist?



Pixi's Glow Mist is one of five facial sprays which are The Hydrating Milky Mist, Vitamin Wakeup Mist, Makeup Fixing Mist and Sun Mist- a spray on sunscreen.

It's formula includes propolis a.k.a "bee glue" which acts as an antioxidant and emollient. It can increase the rate of cell growth, decongest pores and reduce inflammation which makes it a superb ingredient for acneic skin.

The spray is also packed with aloe vera, fruit extracts, niacinamide, sodium hyaluronate and a flurry of hydrating oils. You can see the layer of oils sitting on top of the fluid so you need to shake the bottle before every use. It has a soft scent of roses which doesn't linger for too long (it contains rose flower oil).

It can be used after cleansing to give your face a nice first layer of hydration before continuing with your routine or used after makeup application to dew-ify your look. I like to use it right after cleansing since I can't stand my skin feeling dry for even a second 😬. I've used it after makeup application too but I'm not a huge fan of the strength of the spray. It can get a little bit tricky as you have to spray it at the right distance from your face to not get any wet spots and I hate losing all that good product that never reaches my face.

So why exactly does this make you glow? Hydrated skin is glowing skin and thanks for the blend of 13 oils, aloe vera and sodium hyaluronate, this product really delivers on that front. Also, the amazing qualities of propolis will work to give you an instant glow and work it's barrier magic to protect your skin from pollution. Finally, my skincare saviour, my workhorse, niacinamide! It helps to improve your moisture barrier, boosts collagen production, brightens dull skin, treats hyper pigmentation and controls oil production.

All in all, this facial spray is a great addition to any beauty arsenal, wether to keep by your skincare products, makeup products, your bedside or your purse for an on-the-go spritz!

Pixi Glow Mist at ASOS

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Current Favourites

Current Favourites



Tatcha The Water Cream • Tatcha • $68 I got a cute little sample size of this from Sephora and I am oh so in love! In the tub the cream looks like a gel and as you apply it, the formula becomes water-like and feels akin to applying a seriously soothing and hydrating serum. My skin loves this stuff! The formula is oil free and has 23 karat gold in it! Ok, Sephora, ok... ya got me, I'm sold.

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Facial Toner • Fresh • $44 I've been shopping around for a toner and my heart keeps going back to this one. This is the one toner that truly hydrated my skin and I'm all about soothing scents, which this one delivers with the real rose petals floating inside the bottle.

VERB Volume Spray • $19.88 I've had this one for a while and I even put it in a bag to give away because I thought it wasn't doing anything. After I got my hair cut (first one in years... eep!) a few weeks ago, I gave this a try again and have been grabbing it ever since before every heat styling. My hair was just too damn long and heavy (doh) before. I spray this on my crown and it gives my hair a clean and weightless boost of volume.

Skin Food Black Sugar Mask Wash Off • $21 Hands down my favourite scrub ever! It leaves my skin glowing every time. I don't think I'll ever stop talking about this scrub. This scrub gives me life!

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum • Drunk Elephant • $80 I received a sample of this from Sephora and its my first vitamin c skincare product which I've been wanting to try to help with what looks like the beginning of sunspots. It has rave reviews online and I can see why. This is chock full of the good stuff... antioxidants, hydration, anti again properties and more.

Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil • $32 This winter I had decided to stop using soap cleansers to deal with painful dry flaky skin I get every winter. This is the first cleansing oil I ever bought and it took some getting used to. It's very thick but as it warms up with your fingertips, it massages in nicely and takes off everything. I'm happy to say that this is the first year that I haven't suffered from any dry and flaky skin.

Pixi by Petra Glow Mist • $15 I spray this on after applying makeup and it gives me the dewy glowly look I love.

Laneige Water Sleeping Mask • LaNeige • $25 I'm really feeling these water creams. This one smells so soothing and plumps up my skin by morning thanks to it being packed with ceramides.

AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution 30ml • The Ordinary • £6.30 This may look scary going on thanks to it's blood-like appearance but this is hands down my absolute favourites skincare product right now. It left my skin bright, glowing and soft as soon as the first application.

Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray • Clinique • $31.68 This is an amazing facial spray for an added boost of moisture. I like to carry it with me when the temperature gets really cold and the air becomes dry.

BITE BEAUTY Bite Beauty Smashed Agave Lip Mask • $32.31 This saved my lips this winter! I was so hesitant about purchasing this because of it's steep price point but I'm so glad that I did. I slather this onto my lips before bed and I wake up with the soft, plump lips of my dreams!



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seaNtree's Hyaluron Ampoule 100: A Clean Dose of Hydration

seaNtree's Hyaluron Ampoule 100: A Clean Dose of Hydration



I live within walking distance to 3 asian beauty stores and how I manage to not throw all my money at them is a wonder. A few weeks back, C'est La Peau was having a 30% off sale and I picked up some masks and a bottle of seaNTree's Hyaluron Ampoule 100.

It's a little hard shopping at AB stores without preexisting knowledge of what you want because very little is translated to English or French. When I walked in, I knew I wanted something that would soothe my extremely dry skin since I had been dabbling with some new products which were taking a toll on my moisture barrier.

 I decided on this bottle because of it's simple list of ingredients... water, butylene glycol, sodium hyaluronate and phenoxyethanol. What is sodium hyaluronate? It's the salt of hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in our bodies with 50% of it found in our skin. Babies are full of this ooey-gooey stuff, keeping them nice and plump but as we age, we lose our retention of HA which leads to rough skin, dryness, wrinkles, etc...

What's the advantage of one over the other? The sodium hyaluronate molecule is smaller in size so it can penetrate deeper into your skin. Sodium hyaluronate and hyaluronic acid both can hold 1000 times their weight in water and they do so by pulling moisture from their environment and bringing it to your skin for it to be absorbed naturally. However, take attention to the climate you live in when using products with these ingredients because if you're in a dry climate, the molecules will reach into your skin for moisture and bring it to the top which can lead to dehydrated skin in the long run.

I had to tweak the way I apply this to my face since my environment includes cold weather, strong winds and heating systems. I start by cleansing my face and applying toner, then I spritz my face with a facial mist. My favourite one so far is The Face Shop's Chia Seed Calming Mist (it caresses you with a soothing mist, seriously in love!) but I've also tried it with Pixi Glow Mist and Clinique's Moisture Surge Spray with nice results.

While my face is still dewy with the mist I apply a dropper worth of the Hyaluron Ampoule onto my fingers and pat the product into my face. I wait for it to dry and then I spritz my face again and apply the Hyaluron Ampoule into my face again.

I repeat these steps as many times as I think I need to, usually about 3. At night, I apply a moisturizing lotion and lock everything in with a dab of vaseline. I wake up in the morning with soft, hydrated and bouncy skin.

As much as it's been saving my dry skin, it has a concentrate of 750ppm of sodium hyaluronate and I've seen other products on the market with a much higher amount (like this one at 4000ppm). I can't claim anything on those other products until I try them but I'm very curious in trying them out once this bottle is done.

seaNtree Hyaluron Ampoule 100 at BeautyNetKorea

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