I am finally allowed to talk to you about this new mask from Vichy! Continue reading VICHY // IDEALIA SKIN SLEEP MASK
The newest offering from Biologique Recherche gave me the opportunity to experience yet another one of their facials, (believe me, I know how lucky I am) along with their newest innovation, the Crème Masque Vernix. Continue reading BIOLOGIQUE RECHERCHE // CRÈME MASQUE VERNIX
While having my makeup applied a few weeks ago, the makeup artist told me that my skin was quite dehydrated. I was surprised, I apply moisturizer twice a day! Sometimes more! Plus, I drink more water than anyone I know! How much more hydrated can I be? I went home and looked at the mirror and realized that my skin was dehydrated, I could see it in the crepe-iness of the skin around my eyes, my cheeks and my forehead. Continue reading KIEHL’S // ULTRA FACIAL OVERNIGHT HYDRATING MASQUE
Using retinol is kind of a double-edged sword: it clears your breakouts while slowly revealing younger-looking skin and reducing fine lines, but it can be quite drying, making your skin flake a bit. It is also not recommended that you apply any heavy creams, oils or serums over top of the retinol because it can make it less effective. So what’s a girl to do when her face is feeling thirsty?
Luckily for me, I received Vichy’s Aqualia Thermal Night Spa–it’s a super lightweight lotion infused with the mineral-rich Vichy water that can either be applied thinly as a night cream or in a thicker layer as a hydrating mask. It has a satiny-soft texture but isn’t thick in the slightest. I like to apply it a few nights a week after my moisturizer for an extra cushion of moisture before bed. I wake up to softer, plumper skin that has more radiance.
I am seriously obsessed with this stuff right now–I’ve been using it like 4 or 5 times a week instead of the recommended 1 to 3.
If you do go for the mask application, do know that if you don’t wipe off the excess after about 20 minutes, then you will wake up to little blue balls of the mask on your face. It’s no biggie for me since I wash my face in the morning anyways. A drugstore win!
When I was in Grade 11, my friend Joanna went on a 3-week exchange to Australia. When she returned, she walked into Biology class one day and thrust a little yellow packet that said ‘Vegemite’ in front of me and said ‘Have some! It tastes like chocolate!’. So, being the food obsessive that I am, I stuck a huge glob of it in my mouth and immediately felt like I was gonna hurl. Let me tell you–it did not taste like chocolate.
For those of you in the know, Vegemite or Marmite is a dark brown paste made of leftover yeast extract. For some reason, British and Australian people love it, however, I find it absolutely revolting. The smell and taste are disgusting and strong. After tasting some, I was counting down the minutes until class was over so I could go home and brush my teeth 5 times and mouthwash. Thanks, Joanna.
Anyways, I hate to start this post off on a bad note, but Vegemite is exactly what Masque Vivant smells like. While applying this super thick and goopy paste to my face, I was immediately brought back to my high school days. Yes, it does absolutely stink (Jordan was across the room and said YOU STINK), however, you sort of get used to the smell, and really, it’s all worth it because it WORKS.
When I had my Biologique Recherche facial back in March, my facialist, Ellis, mixed this mask with the Masque VIP O2, as per Dr. Allouche’s recommendation. I have not, however, repeated this (purely because I do not feel like dropping $140 on two face masks at once), but I mix the Vivant with a pinch of baking soda and a few drops of water for blackhead removal abilities.
So, in true BR style, being the Hermès of skincare and all, this mask isn’t cheap. It’s $77, but it works. And for me, right now, I am so frustrated with my skin, that it’s OK. I’m still on the Differin, and it feels like I am in a constant state of ‘purging’ which is really frustrating. I just needed something to help with my constant breakouts.
This mask purifies the face, leaving it super clean. First I double cleanse, follow up with P50W (just use your exfoliating toner), the smooth on the foamy brown paste. After application, leave it alone for 20 minutes or so, and it hardens but does not pull on the face, crack or leave skin feeling tight or dry. Yes, you will look semi-terrifying and sort of look like you have leprosy as the baking soda bubbles, but you definitely see results the next morning–the redness had pretty much gone, skin is more refined, and pimples have significantly reduced in size. Skin is more clear and glowing, and all the little bumps under my skin are clearing up (!!).
Since I’ve been so fed up with my face, I used it 4 or 5 times in the first week, but after that I’ve continued with 2 or 3 times a week. After removal, I apply the Differin, and then a moisturizing mask (really liking Vichy’s Aqualia Thermal Night Spa).
Biologique Recherche products can be found in Canada at:
One to One Studio (Toronto)
Heritage Way Medical Spa (Oakville)
Femme Fatale Spa (Barrie)
La Chambre des Dames (Montréal)
Bren’s Skin Care (Manitoba)
Kolor Twist (Calgary)
Omorovicza was kind enough to send me a sampling of their most lauded products. Since I am using Differin at the moment (prescribed to me by my doc), I have a review so far of the products that I am able to use in tandem with the retinol. Once I get through my first three months (check back in May), I will make my way over to the Copper Peel, the Gold Eye Lift and the Gold Shimmer Oil.
I was really excited to try these products out–I have heard so much about them, especially the mask, and had high expectations.
The Thermal Cleansing Balm has a consistency similar to Clinique’s TTDO, but maybe a little bit thinner. It looks black in the pot, but spreads out to becoming quite translucent. It has a slight warming sensation as it is massage into the skin, and leaves the face feeling hydrated and soft. It removes all makeup, making cleansing a 1-step process.
I’ve heard pretty crazy things about the Deep Cleansing Mask: “don’t use it before a big event, it will bring pimples to the surface”, “your face will need a few days to recover”, and the like. This made me excited–bring all the pimples up now! I want them gone! And it definitely does really deep clean your face. I use it on the weekend so that my face has cleared up a bit before the work week.
It has a slight warming sensation for me, and really works to smooth the skin and the clay tightens up pores (closing pores is kind of a myth, but this mask really does something). I love to use it as the second mask when I’m giving myself my mini facial (exfoliating mask, clarifying mask, hydrating mask).
The Queen of Hungary Mist is a hydrating mist that can be used as a toner or throughout the day to refresh makeup and add moisture. The scent is lovely–orange blossom-y, but not overpowering. I do love this, but this is something I don’t think I could afford on a regular basis. If I was a fancy pants, I would definitely keep this around on my desk for a pick-me-up.
Omorovicza’s products are quite pricey, but if I was to buy one product (so far in the set), it would be the mask. If you’re not one to pony up the cash for facials on a regular basis, this product would be a good way to justify spending around $100 for facial-like effects.
Gentle Body Scrub: Everyone thinks to exfoliate their face, but no one thinks about their body–little scrub can work wonders in this chill weather. I’ve had this huge bottle hanging around in my shower for months, and it works great for post-shave exfoliation (which prevents ingrown hairs, ouch), gets rid of dry and flaky elbows during the winter months, my go-to scrub to ward off keratosis pilaris bumps on my arms and the perfect pre-fake tan skin primer (or post-fake tan if things didn’t turn out so well).
Cleanance Lotion: This is one of those products that I’ve always got stashed away, that I come back to every few months. It’s a staple daily moisturizer for anyone with combination, oily or acne prone skin. The non-greasy gel texture feels light and nourishing on the skin and doesn’t clog the pores.
Cleanance Purifying Mask: This one’s a great quick mask to throw on (five minutes, pfft) and will be your best friend when your face is feeling a bit irritated from breakouts, or overdoing it with the acne treatments. The grainy texture feels strange for a mask, but when it comes time to wash off, the beads work as a gentle exfoliator.
Xera Calm A.D: This moisturizer, named a balm by Avene, is thick and really coats the skin in a non-greasy way to totally restore moisture and quell any itching from dry skin. This is especially great for those with skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis. This has been a god-send for me this winter since jeans can only protect my legs from windchill so much. The bottle also has a special top that keeps the cream sterile, which is important for those with eczema-prone skin.
Hydrance Optimale Hydrating Cream: This is a great cream for all skin types really. It has enough SPF to protect your skin from the sun and contains ingredients like Ceramides and vitamin E to prevent moisture loss. A really nice texture that absorbs quickly without leaving a greasy residue. Also available in both lighter and richer formulations.
Cold Cream: This is what they are perhaps best known for, apart from the Thermal Water. This super emollient cream is for skin that is parched. If you skin is so dry and dehydrated, or if you are suffering from patches of eczema, this is what you need to bring your skin back to life. You can apply it either to the whole face or on dry patches.While it looks greasy at first after application, it will quickly absorb into the skin. The accompanying lip balm is also wonderful and leaves your lips looking slightly frosted.
Rich Compensating Cream: This one is intense. It even comes with a little spoon for application. While it is thick and non-greasy, this isn’t for everyone. This is for skin that is mature, very dry and dehydrated, or has maybe suffered some trauma and has cracked or suffered moisture loss. This one does, however, contain mineral oil, so if your skin is at all prone to acne, I wouldn’t suggest it.
Cold Cream Nourishing Body Lotion: This is a really nice and lighter weight body moisturizer. Absorbs quickly, fragrance-free and hydrates dry skin well. My husband really like this one to relieve itchy, dry skin (plus no fragrance = manly).
Toronto is buzzing about Province Apothecary–Canada’s newest addition to the natural skincare game. Julie Clark, PA’s founder and creator, makes all of the products herself in Toronto. Julie is a Holistic Health Practitioner and Aromatherapist and incorporates her knowledge of essential oils and natural ingredients to create beautiful, healing skincare products. The range contains only natural, raw, wild and organic materials that are sourced locally.
Julie also creates bespoke perfumes and gives holistic aromatherapy skin care treatments in Toronto. I cannot say enough good things about this brand–products that are so natural that you can eat and they work (plus, I love the beautiful packaging).
Moisturizing Cleanser & Makeup Remover: For some reason I was expecting this to be a cream, but it is actually an oil (a mix of sunflower seed, avocado, jojoba, raspberry seed and evening primrose, to be exact)–and a really nice one at that. Sunflower seed oil is easily absorbed into the skin, rich in vitamins and non-comedogenic. Often cleansing oils are mostly mineral oil, which clogs pores, and I was so happy to discover an all-natural oil cleanser that worked. The fragrance is light but beautiful, with extracts of rosemary leaf, bergamot and lavender, but not overpowering or irritating by any means. The oil is lightweight and leaves skin feeling so, so soft and really hydrated. It does exactly what it says. I use this with my Clarisonic sometimes and always finish with a wash cloth. Definitely my favourite of the four (though I really love the toner as well).
Invigorating & Balancing Toner: Again–smells just amazing. Witch Hazel and Geranium wake you up with their bright scent. Spray on after cleansing or throughout the day for a Beauty Elixir-esque pick-me-up.
Repairing & Conditioning Lip Balm: This is a really light balm, that smells great, applies like butter, but isn’t overpowering. Lavender, Calendula and Peppermint hydrate and heal cracked lips while giving the illusion of fresh breath. I would think that boys would love this gem as it doesn’t have a shiny finish or any tint.
Regenerating & Stimulating Exfoliator: A really gentle and versatile scrub that can be tailored to any skin type. Mix 1 tsp of the exfoliating powder with the product of your choice, based on your skin type: honey for acne, yogurt for oily skin or AHA exfoliation, and oil or cream for dry skin. The scrubbing granules are made of oatmeal, making the particles softer than your average scrubbing beads (great for more sensitive and delicate skins).
EVERYONE can use a little inner glow, especially at this time of year when we’re all lacking that sun-kissed skin. And while makeup can disguise most blemishes, I find it usually dulls that natural radiance.
I recently found the perfect face mask duo from Boscia—the Bright White mask before bed and the Luminizing Black mask in the morning are perfect before a party or a big event. The white mask deep cleans your pores and lightens dark spots, and the black mask purifies and makes your complexion look luminous. Whether you’re going through a bad skin day (or week!) or your skin is just looking blah, this combo is that pick-me-up I rely on. I slather on the mask after cleansing, leave on for 20 minutes, peel off, and then finish up with toner and moisturizer. I see immediate brightness in my skin and this pair will make your face glow even through your makeup.