Tag Archives: caroline hirons

BEFORE BUYING A PRODUCT

I almost never buy a beauty product impulsively. I am obsessed with finding a million different opinions, ingredient lists, etc.etc. especially when it comes to skincare. Ingredients like mineral oil and shea butter can affect my acne, and parabens and alcohol really aren’t good for you or your skin. Plus, the main thing that every one wants to know before they drop some cash is if it actually works.

So, here is my methodology when deciding if a product is worth my money.

Check Caroline Hirons’s site
She is a go-to resource for everything skincare related. She has worked in the beauty industry for many years, and is not afraid to be totally honest about whether or not a product works and has good value. You might have to dig around a bit on her site to find her opinion, but a general search on Google of her name + the name of the product can usually turn something up. Also, be sure to sift through the comments.

General Blogger Reviews
After hitting up CH’s blog, I do a general Google search for other bloggers’ reviews. Try and be critical of the blog’s reviews–be critical of what they say and read the comments and any disclaimers in case they are influenced by free PR samples.

Blogs I trust: A Model Recommends, Liana Beauty, Gh0stparties, Nouvelle Daily, Vivianna Does Makeup

Sephora, Beauty Bag, Look Fantastic, Cult Beauty Reviews
Reading the comments on these retail sites are actually a wealth of information. Since they are not the official beauty brands’ website, people are pretty candid about their opinions on products.

Paula’s Choice
Paula is great, but sometimes you really need to take her opinions with a grain of salt. She has a wonderful searchable database of tons of products, but I find (in my opinion) that she can sound a bit dramatic and overeactive in terms of ingredients. Now–she is totally right about some things, but I find that when it comes to essential oils or fragrances she is quite against them, proclaiming that they will severely irritate the skin,when in fact, they might not. So yes, use her as a resource, but also check around for a few other opinions.

Ingredients
Read through the ingredients before buying–sometimes you need to do a bit of digging before they will turn up, but for the most part, you can always find them. Educate yourself! If there is something listed and you don’t know what it is, look it up! You can also find lists of products to avoid all over the internet.

Avoid products with:

  • Mineral Oil
  • Alcohol
  • Parabens
  • Shea butter if you have acne-prone skin
  • Essential oils if you have very sensitive skin

Try it out
Beauty retailers make it quite easy to try out products nowadays. If there is something you want to try, but are afraid it won’t look good on you, might react with your skin, whatever, hit up a drugstore, Sephora or department store, and try it out, and even ask for a sample! Sephora almost never denies me when I ask for a sample. Many brand’s websites will even offer a selection of samples when purchasing other products–Kiehl’s especially is very generous, both online and very much so in-store.

Gift with purchases are also a great way to try out something new, check around–you might have one already, or someone you know might! Or–if you know of a friend who owns the product you are hemming and hawwing about, ask if you can try it! You never know.

Are there any blogs that you read regularly for trusted reviews? Where do you check for opinions before buying a product?

AMANDA’S CLEANSING ROUTINE

Feeling frustrated with my face (as always), and after devouring Caroline Hirons blog, I decided it was high time to revamp my cleansing routine. I had gotten lazy, relying on my Clarisonic to do most of the work, and when I wasn’t sonic-ing, my hands could not wash my face fast enough. All in all, I was really not cleansing my face properly.
In walks the Eve Lom balm cleanser, with her 8-step cleansing and massage routine with a muslin cloth. Before I knew it, I had started to love washing my face, taking lots of time to steam with a hot washcloth. And, I was enjoying the results. My complexion was already becoming clearer, brighter, and well, cleaner.
Since my skin is prone to becoming congested, I decided to take Caroline’s advice and start using an acidic toner. I was already using Ren’s Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal mask once a week, and loving the results, but it scared me a bit to be using acid on my face twice a day. However, I had no reason to be afraid. Peter Thomas Roth’s toner has way less acid than the mask, but is effective at kick starting your skin into action. You epidermis will begin to turnover its cells, making way for new ones and dissolving the old ones. My skin is already getting much clearer, the scars are fading and the little red bumps under the skin are disappearing. According to her, your skin should be an acid environment so as not to promote bacteria from growing. When your skin is more alkaline, this is when bacteria spreads and acne forms.
Caroline prescribes following the acid toner with a hydrating toner. I had attempted to purchase Ren’s Hydrating Toner (Caroline approved. Ren also makes an exoliating toner.), but was not able to find it in Sephora (maybe it is not carried in Canada?). Instead, I was recommended Nars’ Multi Action Hydrating Toner, which is also supposed to aid in brightening the skin, turnover, and is alcohol-free (a quality you want in a toner. The Peter Thomas Roth toner does contain alcohol, however, it was the only exfoliating toner I was able to find at the moment. It is also the fifth ingredient listed, so I don’t believe that there is enough of it to have a negative effect.). I do love this toner, and appreciate the extra step of injecting some moisture into my dry skin. I also appreciate the bottle’s design (sleek, modern, etc.), however, the cap is kind of big and obnoxious and takes up a lot of room in my skincare storage basket (which is always overflowing).
Lastly, I have added a second cleanse to my nighttime routine. Following a good, deep cleanse from Eve, I use Ren’s Mayblossom T-Zone Control Cleansing Gel with a muslin cloth. This was a winner for me because it is non-foaming (a.k.a. it will not strip the skin, thus prompting my skin to produce even more oil) and it works well. My skin doesn’t feel tight afterwards, just nice and clean. Added bonus is that it helps to balance and control my oily nose area.
Further reading/watching:

HYDRALURON AND EYSILIX // MIRACLE WORKERS

I discovered these drugstore miracle-workers a few weeks ago, and for their small price (20-30 dollars each), they have made a huge difference to my skin and have found their place in my essentials. These two products come from Indeed laboratories, a very results-oriented company.

Eysilix: If you have puffy eyes in the morning, or you want to tighten up your eye area, this is the eye cream for you. I am not joking that when it claims it “instantly lifts” that it does just that. A few seconds after application, you can actually feel this cream tightening and lifting the skin (it’s totally crazy–it kind of freaked me out the first time, it almost sucks out the puffiness). In the morning, this cream is a winner since puffiness makes for difficult mascara and eyeliner application–but with this product, no worries at all. It looks as if I woke up hours ago. This is definitely an impressive eye cream.

If you have a dry eye area like me, this isn’t the most hydrating cream, however, to fix that all I do is use a little of my facial moisturizer over top.

Hydraluron: This gel has made my skin more hydrated than ever. It’s like the Kiehl’s mask, but you use it everyday, so your skin is always plump and healthy. You can use it twice a day, however, I only use it before bed because it’s just too many layers for me in the morning (be sure to apply it as your second last step before your moisturizer). If you have any tightness from dry skin, this will fix it for you. If you have any acne, you should probably be using this too; it’s a great way for your skin to get that extra boost of hydration without any oil or greasiness (which helps to heal the skin). It will also save you money because you end up using less of your moisturizer.

NEUTROGENA // WATER-LIGHT SUNSCREEN

Summer is coming (or shouldn’t it already be here?) and it’s time to lather up with some SPF (though you should really be wearing it all year round). Having SPF in your makeup is just not good enough. Most SPFs in makeup or tinted moisturizer can actually disappear and dissolve after application from rubbing the product with your fingers or with a makeup brush.

Since my facialist recommended that I stay away from heavy moisturizers and sunscreens, I decided I would see if I could beat my much-loved Kiehl’s. Thinking, what could be lighter than water?, I picked up Neutrogena’s Water-Light sunscreen. Really, what everyone hates most about sunscreen is:

1) applying it
2) the smell
3) how greasy it is
4) how shiny your face looks afterwards

With new formulations for sunscreen coming out all of the time, you really have no excuse to not be wearing sunscreen. Get with the times people. If you want to look like a gross leather handbag at 50, then be my guest and ignore this. Sun is the number one cause of aging. Why wouldn’t you stop it if you could?

This suncreen claimed to be extremely lightweight with a matte finish. I would say that this sunscreen is just as good as the Kiehl’s for a fraction of the price. They are equal in weight (or both “water-light” if you prefer) and don’t leave a greasy finish. They work perfectly under makeup so you really have no excuse not to use it. Neutrogena has an extra SPF factor of 10 compared to Kiehl’s but I’m still not sure whether or not anything above 50 is actually better than 50 (maybe someone knows more about this?).

In my opinion, it’s probably better to spend a little bit less on sunscreen if you’re going to be precious about applying a more expensive one. While not all drugstore sunscreens are equal (some of the cheap ones can cause rashes on some people), there is no point spending $50 on a sunscreen if you won’t want to apply it generously.

Remember to apply it a few times a day on your face, neck, decolleté and the backs of your hands. If you have any more doubts about why you should be using a separate sunscreen, Beautymouth has a great cheat sheet on SPF (all of her cheat sheets are great).