Tag Archives: oily skin


Lots of new releases from Vichy at the moment–these aren’t even all of them! (Stay tuned for a review of their new hydrating serum) Continue reading VICHY // IDEALIA BB CREAM, EYE CREAM & NIGHT DETOX


Personally, I’m not about to sacrifice coverage or texture for my oily skin. However, shiny faces are only cool on the runways, and I will take desperate measures (okay maybe I’m being a bit dramatic) to keep my face matte. Continue reading MAKEUP FOR OIL CONTROL


SODIUMPCAKIEHLS1Since I’ve been using Tactuo (a prescribed medicated acne-fighting gel), I noticed that even my oily skin was becoming combination-y, which, in my opinion, was causing scarring from my breakouts and frustrating foundation applications. So I figured, to counteract the dryness of the Tactuo but keep my face matte, I needed a day cream that would give sufficient moisture and control oil throughout the day. I visited the trusty staff at my local Kiehl’s and asked them for guidance. They recommended the Sodium PCA “Oil-Free” Moisturizer (by the way, can anyone tell me while the oil-free is in quotations?). I’ve been using this stuff for almost 9 months now–it’s a great all year round moisturizer– nourishing enough for the dry winter months, but not too rich for summer time. I always apply this right before I put on foundation, it makes it go on soo smoothly. For the most part, I no longer get dry patches, but for the odd days where I go a bit crazy on my zits (hello salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and tea tree oil!), I need to bring in the bigger guns. Like most Kiehl’s products, it’s seems to last forever (which is great unless you are obsessed with trying new products, ahem, which I am guilty of). Anyone with normal, combination or oily skin will love this, however I don’t think it’s strong enough for dry skin.



Everyone’s favourite acne product from LRP, Effaclar Duo, has undergone a reformulation to make it even better than ever.

Effaclar Duo+ now contains a new ingredient, Procerad, which helps to prevent acne scarring from developping.

Not to worry, Duo+ still contains the ingredients from the beloved original, it’s just been suped up to fight what acne leaves behind.

Ingredients from the original:

  • Niacinamide aka Vitamin B3 (fights inflammation and stops breakouts)
  • Piroctone Olamine (anti-bacterial and anti-fungal)
  • Salicylic Acid & LHA (a precise, gentle exfoliating ingredient)
  • Lineolic Acid (Salicylic acid’s sister)
  • Zinc PCA (regulates sebum)

Did you know that acne scarring can take 3 years to fade away?

Acne scarring and hyperpigmentation affects everyone from fair (red marks) complexions to dark (brown marks). Procerad contains contains cermaides and anti-inflammatory ingredients that prevent melanin from being triggered into developping hyperpigmentation on any skin tone.

Duo+ works to fight inflammation (redness), prevent blemishes and provides hydration to oilier skin. I, myself, have dry combination skin, so if you are like me, I would still recommend a moisturizer over top. It is ever so slightly heavier than the original (Duo+ is like a lightweight moisturizer, the original is more of a gel) and contains a really nice, fresh scent.

Duo+ is suitable for even the most sensitive of skin.

Some other tidbits I learned from the excellent session:

  • There is a different Effaclar product for everyone:
    • Effaclar H for those on Accutane (doesn’t contain exfoliating ingredients)
    • Effaclar K for retentional acne, contains retinol (under the skin bumps, blackheads, whiteheads–you would not be getting any surface pimples any more)
    • Effaclar A.I. for those who get 1 or 2 pimples a month and only need spot treatment
    • Effaclar Mat for dilated pores–this one mattifies and slows down oil production
    • Also in the range: a gel cleanser and toner (which contains LHA!)
  • Effaclar Duo+ can be used as:
    • a spot treatment
    • nightly as a full-face treatment
    • as a preventative treatment on only breakout zones
  • Those suffering from acne-prone skin should be using an SPF every single day to prevent acne scarring, especially if they are taking an oral prescription
  • For those on Accutane, LRP recommends cleansing with their Toleriane cream cleanser and following up with Effaclar H.
    • Did you know: Accutane only gets properly absorbed into your body when taken with a fat (i.e. a tbsp of peanut butter, or a piece of avocado). When combined, you will receive longer-term and better results.

Efflaclar Duo+ will be available in stores August 6th.


The old faithfuls of Anna’s makeup bag

Mascara never goes on unless my lashes are curled. If I’m going to the gym, usually bare faced, I always curl my eyelashes before jetting off. It makes you look five times more awake and literally like you have five times more lashes than you actually do. And I don’t care what every single makeup artist warns, a quick curl over finished eye makeup, say, after a day of school, is an instant pick-me-up to your face (and I hate to say it, but the dried mascara holds a curl SO MUCH BETTER. Just be super careful).
I’ve tried a few different curlers, and having had some that have literally pulled out half of my lash count (*cringes*), I only have one curler in my life. Shu Uemura is infamous for their lash curlers– made for asian eye shapes, they really catch every lash and curl WITHOUT PULLING. I repeat, WITHOUT PULLING.
Back in the day, when I didn’t know the difference between pink and yellow undertones, I was convinced that the reason I had a line of makeup along my jawline was not in fact the wrong shade of foundation, but instead that I wasn’t blending it well enough. And while both probably needed some work, I found a brush that I still use, like, every single day. The Sephora #56 brush is a buffing brush, so you can use it to apply liquid or cream foundations, tinted moisturizers and concealers, which was what I originally used it for. Nowadays, I do all that jazz with my fingers, then do a one-over with the 56 to make sure everything all blended and not, like, sitting on top of my skin. Because we all know how attractive that is.
I’m not gonna get started on oily skin here, because, well, I’ve pretty much summed up how annoying it is in about every single article I’ve ever written. But something that I’ve learned is that every skin type produces oil (or sweat) in some way or another, especially when wearing makeup. Boscia’s Blotting Papers are more or less my one true love in life, always there to make me look better, feel better, even sharing their superpowers with my friends. Who needs men??
Not trying to brag or anything, but I usually have pretty soft lips. Like, I always put on lip balm but I know very well that I don’t really need it. Then, all hell broke loose when the temperature up here in CANADA dipped to like -1000 (that’s in Celsius, so like WAY more cold than you even thought) and my lips really felt it. They were dry at the corners and the skin was peeling and it was a disaster that I had never seen on myself before. But thank god for my trusty Rosebud Salve! I bought a tin back when it was super trendy and loved it immediately because of the thick viscosity and the natural-looking red stain it left. But this stuff’s not just a pretty face, it’s been my saviour since my lips checked into rehab for being a hot mess.
— Anna Raponi


You can barely pry yourself from your bed when your alarm goes off and you consider faking a bad case of the stomach flu for the day. You cannot for the life of you pick an outfit that you haven’t worn for the billionth time and isn’t being washed as we speak. Your hair just isn’t working.
We’ve all been there. Those days that you just want to curl up in a ball and forget about your ever-growing list of problems; be it your skin, your deadlines, your body, you name it. 
A few weeks back, my skin was just looking and feeling awful, and I was just not having it. I was breaking out all over my chin, forehead, and outer cheekbones. I had a few of those cystic spots too–you know, the really deep ones that hurt like a bitch and take what seems like forever to clear. No makeup could cover this mess, and what I did have on just wasn’t sitting well. All week I used a concoction of acids, clays and exfoliants on my congested epidermis, and most likely made the problem way worse this way–*hint* completely dehydrating your skin will NOT get rid of acne or oil, it will only add to the problem. I figured it was about time to throw in the towel, to admit that maybe, just maybe, I don’t know everything (though I definitely like to think I do sometimes). I took to the internet (surprising, I know) to find some much-needed knowledge. 
I believe I discovered the superpowers of turmeric in a comment on Into The Gloss. A commenter said she would use the spice in a face mask to help tame her acneous, oily skin. After a good fifteen minutes googling this indian spice, discovering that it is, in fact, not only great in your curry, but also your best friend when your skin is having a meltdown. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties, which are quite necessary when you have slathered on anything and everything that makes your skin sting (I know–it sounded like a good idea at the time). It’s also a non-abrasive exfoliant, which can help unclog your pores when you’re just feeling stuffy (especially when the weather is smoggy). 
Ya, ya, it’s great, we get it, but how do we use it? Well, turmeric face masks are easy to make, require products that are probably sitting in your kitchen, and will actually show results. For drier skin, sprinkle a good dash of turmeric into your greek yogurt (which is a great, natural moisturizer) and slather onto your face for 10-20 minutes. If you’re like me (my sincerest condolences), and your skin is on the oilier side, make a paste of honey and turmeric and apply to your problematic face. Leave for 10-15 minutes and rinse (which is easier said than done with this alternative). Honey is antibacterial, which is great in treating acne, while nourishing your confused skin (and soul). 
So grab a cup of tea, a good read and your face mask, and try to salvage what’s left of your horrible day.
Anna Raponi



I think just in general, using the word “oil” when describing our skin or hair type is kind of… gross. Like really, no one wants to be the greaseball. No one. But it’s not our fault. And while I imagine it’s pretty difficult/most likely very unhealthy to try and change your skin type altogether, I think it’s important to understand our skin and work with it. It ain’t going nowhere. For the lucky readers like me who more often than not look shiny, who never really need to put on moisturizer, and do not leave the house without blotting papers, this one goes out to you.

Let’s not start on a negative note here. Hard to believe, but your pesky skin is actually helping you out! You’re gonna see the signs of aging later than women/men with, say, dry or normal skin. That’s huge. Second off, do you know how many products are out there, aiming to mimic the radiance of a little dewiness? People pay for that shit! Hard to believe, right? We often forget that matte skin can look a tad on the dead side. Embrace your glow! But with good judgement, obviously. Also, oily skin tends to be thicker and more resilient to the harsh effects of the environment has on our skin (ie. sun, wind). It’s like our secret armour.
Sounds great, right? No–we all know that it sucks. But there are most definitely ways to tame the “tiger”. Starting off on the right foot in skincare is your best bet. Though it seems logical to completely strip your skin of any oil altogether, let me walk you off the edge. Please, do not do this. Your skin will react by producing even more oil than before to compensate. Obviously, you aren’t gonna need the richest moisturizer, but don’t shy away from oils and moisturizing. Start off washing the ‘offender’ morning and night, but try to avoid cleansers with salicylic acid/benzoyl peroxide. I’ve honestly found that they really do more harm than good. Don’t skip moisturizer. Just keep it light, oil-free and maybe even oil-controlling. If you use foundation, use a powder or one tailored to oily skin (my favourites are MUFE’s and Clarins). Powder. Right away. And don’t be foolish. Always, and I mean always, carry blotting sheets. Before bed, get that makeup off and cleanse. You wouldn’t believe how much extra oil accumulates on our faces, most of it coming from our own hands (gross, I know). I’ve found that steaming my face with a washcloth after cleansing has helped balance my skin as well. Ingredients like clay, tea tree oil and glycolic acid have worked wonders for me as well–look for those in your toners.
Remember: this is your skin. We often get so frustrated with it that we can be extremely harsh with our skincare regimen. It is a two-way street. If you take proper care of your skin, it will show. So put your best face forward.
–Anna Raponi


For someone with acne-prone, oily skin, toners were always the step of my skincare routine that I thought got rid of the zits– possibly because for years, a toner was only good in my eyes if it stung. However, I’ve acquired a tad more education on these astringents and, well, made myself even more unclear on which one I should be using. The whole science to it is quite confusing and everyone has their own opinion on what a toner needs to do, if any at all (I once heard that if you are using a good cleanser, no toner should be required at all. hmm.). So stumped and dry out of my last toner, I did the rounds at all my favourite beauty joints (mainly via internet) and found this Kate Sommerville one to be most promising.

Basically, I want my toner to treat any current breakouts, prevent new ones, control oil and fade acne scars. That’s all! Yah, so, I had to accept the fact that there is no solution on earth that will really work that kind of magic, but I’ll take what I can get. Hence, the clarifying toner from Kate Sommerville. I actually first heard of the brand by it’s highly acclaimed spot treatment, EradiKate. So, I figured Kate must be pretty good in the acne department. This toner promises to fight off acne-causing bacteria (check), lighten acne scars (check), control oil (check) and unclog pores (not on the list, but check). This stuff should be everything I’m looking for (and more).

I don’t even think you can classify my skin as ‘oily’ because it is far more oily than practically every girls’ I’ve met who claims to have this skin type. Yah, blah blah blah, it ages slower and so on, but it is a pain in the ass 24/7 and I would trade it for anything. In terms of this toner, I wouldn’t say it controls oil throughout the day, more so it keeps oil at bay for around three hours. I’ll take that. As for my breakouts, I’d say this stuff does what most toners do… keeps things regular as in a few zits here and there but nothing major. But, where this stuff shines is the whole fading of discoloration category. As most sufferers of acne can agree, most of the time the actually spot isn’t the problem, it’s the WHOLE shebang that surrounds it, ie. redness (!!!). And to top it all off, once the pesky zit goes away, we’re left with a scar. Not cool. But this stuff lightens my scars and my discoloration, fighting half the battle of us acne-prone soldiers. I can dig it.

–Anna Raponi


Even with the HUGE (and somewhat intimidating) selection of foundations available these days, I still feel like the options for oily skin are quite sparse. And for the teen with uneven, acne-prone skin, this sucks. Not to say that the few of products on the market aren’t good though, well, at least the ones I’ve given a go. Over the past, hmm year or so, I’ve tried out two foundations for my not-so-lovely greasy skin, one liquid and one powder, and I think it’s about time I discussed.

First observed on a Lisa Eldridge YouTube video, the Clarins Ever Matte Foundation. It’s packed with SPF 15 (which, I should add, you should not solely rely on), a fresh, watermelon-y scent and the ‘Skin Detox’, which the brand claims to tighten pores and control natural-occurring oils on the skin. I first started out with this product last summer, using the first shade, Ivory. The texture is easily the BEST I have ever seen in a foundation. It’s almost… dry? Upon application, it’s not wet or sticky, it just glides on and sets almost immediately. The coverage is just as easily the best I’ve seen in a foundation. I trusted it to cover the red patches on my cheeks, the acne scars around my mouth AND the blemishes I was fighting off at the time. I can report that this superpower unified my skin tone THE best a foundation ever has, however I still followed with some targeted concealing on any zits still visible.

While this foundation promises to keep you matte all day, I know my skin, and that promise is just too good to be true. Following application, I set the whole shebang with a translucent powder, and I could go about 3-4 hours until I had to whip out a blotting paper. However, I have exceptionally oily skin and this product could most likely go a bit longer solo on someone else’s ‘oily’ skin (however, I would like to see me prove me wrong, it’s a lonely fight over here). Probably my only complaint, which is the sorrowful reason I had to, sigh, abandon my good ol’ friend, is the somewhat-lacking shade selection. While Ivory worked on my (slightly) tanned, summer skin, it’s just too much of a contrast on my hibernated, winter-y skin. Perhaps I can reconnect with ol’ Clarins after I get some sun.

So after Amanda commented on the, shriek, line of darker foundation on my jaw bone, and I knew it was time to break up with Ever Matte. It was a good run. So I hit the web, and after scrolling through about a hundred different products and reviews, I thought I should pursue a new endeavor, a powder foundation. I mean, powders are known to absorb oil, duh. However, I’ve typically shyed away from these bases because they don’t provide that much coverage and are known to look cakey. I thought my best bet would be the Make Up For Ever Duo Mat, which promises medium coverage and an, obviously, matte finish. I conceal any blemishes and large red patches beforehand (using a creamy concealer), then pack this on using a dense powder brush. I get the high coverage I would get with the Clarins this way, however I have to go heavier with the concealer using this powder. The Duo Mat wins the matte race– I can go a whopping 6-7 hours without the shine (hallelujah!). I use the shade ‘Beige Opalescent’, which fits my fairer skin tone, and there’s even one lighter, you know, just in case.

Where Duo Mat lacks in coverage, Clarins performs. Duo Mat wins the matte AND the colour competition. The prices are more or less the same. For me, Duo Mat gets my heart. But honestly, these two are killer in not-so-abundant variety of foundations for oily skin.

–Anna Raponi


In case you didn’t already know, I’m getting married in July, one of the hottest months of the year. One of my biggest worries (or really everyone’s worry in the summer) is looking greasy and shiny in person and in photos. It seems almost impossible to prevent when there is sun, sweat and a naturally oily t-zone working against you, right?
Well, after a few recommendations from some other fellow beauty bloggers, I picked up Vichy’s Dermablend Setting Powder, which claims to provide 16 hours of staying power to your makeup as well preventing oil and shininess when used along with their Dermablend foundation (a corrective foundation that provides medium to high coverage). This powder is still great on it’s own and is acult favourite (check the reviews) for setting powders on top of moisturized skin, other foundations or tinted moisturizers. I have been wearing this over just moisturizer or tinted moisturizer.
All you need to do is use the powder puff to apply the powder all over your face (I even put it over my concealer under my eyes), let it set for two minutes, then brush the excess off. I apply it before doing my eye makeup in the morning so that the two minutes of waiting time goes by without noticing it. The result is a more even and matte complexion that lasts for hours.
Given the humidity that we have had in Toronto the past few weeks, this has decreased the shine on my nose signficantly.  It keeps everything in place for you, even through sweating, smudging and bathing! This is a must if you’re worried about your face sliding off in the summer heat.