Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Loving Lately - February 2016

Toronto is currently in the midst of a wintry mix storm, so I figured I might as well hunker down and write about what I've been reaching for more often than not this past month. I was a bit out of routine this month thanks to Family Day/NBA All-Star Weekend, but I'm getting back into it all gradually. I've found myself focused on using things up since I have a bit of a habit of flitting around from product to product, then clearing out the product pile-up on my bathroom counter and starting all over again. Suffice it to say, this habit is kind of awful and eradicating it is a work in progress. On to the goodies:

The idea of a capsule collection targeted at Millennials and sold exclusively through Sephora seems like a no-brainer in terms of Estée Lauder really chasing down a market they've been missing in recent years aka flaunting its brand ambassadors (Hi, Kendall) turned "guest editors". The collection is 26 products that are meant to embrace the idea that EL built its brand on, which is "Beauty is in attitude". The collection hit over the weekend and I was drawn in by this mascara (and a blush, which was a patchy nightmare upon application, so it went back to Sephora). I like the idea of a double-ended mascara because it's two looks or functions for one price, and this was no exception. When I got my hands on the tube, I instantly saw a resemblance between the "curl/lift" brush and MAC's Upward Lash brush, and the "volume" brush actually reminded me a lot of now-discontinued MAC Plushlash Mascara. I can't say the wands are identical to the MAC counterparts I just mentioned, but they are hugely reminiscent and both perform well. The formulations are wet, so thinner lashes may want to steer clear ...or leave the tubes open for a while to dry'em out. I found that applying with the "volume" side first and then following up with the "lift" brush was the best method for my lashes, giving me a full, fanned-out effect.

When it comes to exfoliation, I'm an acids girl the whole way. The occasional physical exfoliant can feel good, but on a nearly daily basis, I reach for products with lactic or glycolic acid for even, smooth skin. A recent trip to the IDI led me to snap this cleanser up and I have been really happy with its performance. Now, this cleanser is in no way meant to be used to break down makeup - definitely use it on already-clean, damp skin. Massage this stuff in for 30 seconds and feel the difference in your skin after, thanks to the lactic acid (third ingredient in the bottle) that works to break down the built-up dead skin. I use this a few times a week and in conjunction with retinols/retinoids and don't experience any irritation. Give this a whirl if you deal with congested skin on the reg!

Yes, a candle just made the cut into this post. There's a slew of things from Jo Malone that I feel like I have glazed over before, including the brand's Just Like Sunday range, which is a collection of home candles that are meant to evoke specific scents reminiscent of Sunday meals. All that aside, if you like Diptyque Baies, you'll likely be into this scent, which is a bit more green with a hint of moss, but ultimately similar to Baies, probably because of the cassis note. I like Diptyque plenty, but it was nice to explore something different from Jo Malone. I also wanted to give my Jo Malone Moroccan Rose & Cardamom candle a rest because it was limited edition last winter and I'm one of those nutty people who just longingly admire candles if I know I can't buy them again. Noteworthy: this candle has excellent throw even when it isn't lit, so candle hoarders rejoice!

When I first saw this eye palette, I loved the overwhelming warm tones of the eyeshadows and then I had a flashback to this Lisa Eldridge tutorial that she did in celebration of 100 years of Bollywood. The quad she used on her model was Tom Ford Eye Colour Quad in "Burnished Amber", which was a limited edition offering years ago. I have watched and re-watched this tutorial many times over the years and never really forgot about how flattering this quad was on East Indian skin. I got my hands on Honeymoon a little after its initial launch and have absolutely loved it. As much as I wear and love cool-toned taupes and neutrals, there's something alluring about the copper-tinged gold, warm bronze and cranberry shades that I'm really loving, and the deep plum has a soft warmth to it that is also wildly flattering when worn along the lash line. The shadow formula can be worn wet or dry (any Tom Ford shadow stamped with TF in the pan is this versatile formulation), and I have worn this daily since getting it. Fave palette I own - huge statement - hands down. 

Like I said, acids and anything that helps with skin cell turnover are my go-to for even skin. That philosophy is now spreading to my body. As a person who is no stranger to scars (two escalator falls in the last 2.5 years, one of which ended with escalator teeth scars on both my shins), introducing a retinol-boosted product into my body care routine made perfect sense. This oil has been kicking around my bathroom for a while, so I finally threw it into the mix after seeing it pop up on a fellow beauty fan's IG the other day. In addition to scars, I have really uneven skin on the tops of my thighs. A part of me thinks it's from friction caused by clothing or activity, but the skin in this area sort of resembles keratosis pillaris, which is a bummer. This oil has basically cleared up my uneven skin on my legs and has diminished my [very dark] scars from my tumbles. It has 1% retinoid to even out skin tone and texture, and it's a dry oil texture, so it absorbs rapidly after applying. I tend to layer this underneath a body lotion, such as Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Body Cream (which contains a happy trifecta of glycolic, lactic and salicylic acids) for maximum impact. Obviously, as with any retinol or acid, slap on SPF if you're going to be in the sun because your skin will be more susceptible to burning when you're using a retinol or acid product. 



  1. I want to try that retinol oil! I remember you telling me I needed something like that for my arms... Thanks for the recco, Dr. Poonam :)

    1. This stuff for limbs + La Roche-Posay Redermic [R] or Avene TriAcneal Expert for face = Really awesome skin. Let me know if you give it a whirl and how it goes, Steph!


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