DIY Liquid Highlighter - 2 clean ingredients
I haven't had a lot of luck finding a good, natural looking highlighter that isn't too glittery, too expensive, too drying, or too full of chemicals. So I made one that I'm in love with! For my fellow DIYers.... You need only 2 ingredients: 1. a facial oil that your skin enjoys 2. cosmetic grade mica powder (in the colour of your choice) Fill a dropper bottle with the oil and add tiny amounts of mica powder until you get the shimmer/pigment level you want (or add mica to an existing bottle of oil). Shake, apply to skin, and gently smooth out. I customized mine a little by using a combo of oils (evening primrose and sweet almond) and a couple different mica colours (gold, rose beige, and pink shimmer). I added a drop of lavender essential oil too, because evening primrose oil has a naturally fishy odor that i can't stand. It wears really nicely alone or over sunscreen and/or foundation (I'm wearing a little The Ordinary - Colour. Serum Foundation in the pics). I find the oil gets absorbed and you're left with a non-greasy glow after a few minutes (so choose an oil that works for your skin). Your skin stays moisturized and it doesn't exaggerate lines or pores. It creates a very natural, subtle glow, not a strobe highlight effect (as long as you choose neutral toned, pearlescent micas). I'm NEVER again spending $50 on a highlighter!
The Ordinary-Colour. Serum Foundation
Update: hair regrowth using this serum
A little while ago, I made a post about the things I was doing to combat a thinning hairline (caused by wearing my hair up too much). At the time I didn't give too much credit to The Ordinary's hair serum. I had only been using it for 1.5 months and wasn't even sure if it was intended to stimulate growth or just increase the thickness of each hair strand. I'm now prepared to give The Ordinary - Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density the credit it deserves. And Deciem has confirmed that the peptides in this serum do, infact, stimulate hair growth! I've used it consistently (every eveing) for almost 3 months and have noticed a considerable amount of hair regrowth. See my before/after photo. I have a lot of annoying little fly-aways which will take months/years to reach a length I want, but the point is - my hair came back and has filled in all the thin areas around my face. I used 1 full bottle of the hair density serum, which using 1/3 of the dropper full, once per day, just along my hairline, has lasted close to three months. For $17, it's pretty economical! It is a watery consistency and isn't greasy at all so it won't force you to wash your hair any more often. It has no smell, and doesn't cause any irritation or sensation on the scalp. If you're trying to regrow lost hair, please see my earlier post for some other suggestions to stimulate hair growth that may be helpful. :)
The Ordinary-Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density
How to use Ascorbic Acid POWDER + my AM routine
Vitamin C will forever be part of my morning routine, because the 'before and afters' don't lie!! I experimented with a number of AM routines and different vit C serums from The Ordinary before landing on their The Ordinary - 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder Ascorbic Acid is pure vitamin C in its most potent, and also the most unstable form. It is incredibly difficult to formulate serums with L-Ascorbic Acid, which is why TO offers it in a powder form to slow/prevent its oxidation. You are meant to mix it with a liquid only as you need it. Don't worry, it dissolves in water based serums almost instantly and does not feel gritty! My "before" photo is from a little over a month ago, and my "after" was taken today (Nov 20) after using the ascorbic acid powder daily for 1 month! Both taken in the same room, same lighting, zero makeup. In addition to improving texture and decreasing breakouts, the difference it made in my pigmentation and skin tone is incredible! This is my AM routine and directions on how to properly use a pure powdered form of Ascorbic Acid. After cleansing, I add 1/2 a scoop of The Ordinary - 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder into my palm (start with only 1/4 of the supplied scoop until your skin adjusts). Then I add 2 drops of The Ordinary - Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5and 2 drops of The Ordinary - Amino Acids + B5. You're aiming for about a 20% concentration of vit C. Mix with a finger until the powder is fully dissolved then apply evenly over face and neck, avoiding eye area. It is advised to use additional antioxidants with vitamin C in order to minimize oxidation and increase its effectiveness. Therefore I immediately follow up with 2 or 3 drops of The Ordinary - Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% I then apply an oil to moisturize. I currently use about 3 drops ofThe Ordinary - 100% Cold Pressed Virgin Marula Oil and sometimes mix with a couple drops of The Ordinary - 100% Plant-Derived Squalaneif I need a moisture boost. (Feel free to use any moisturizer that you prefer, as long as it doesn't contain actives that conflict with Ascorbic acid.) The last step is always, always, always sunscreen! I use thinksport - Everyday Face Sunscreenspf 30 which I tint to match my own skin tone (see my previous diy post for this). Then proceed with makeup (or not). Some additional notes: Keep powder closed, away from sunlight, and DRY. Don't even open it in a humid bathroom after a shower! If it oxidizes, toss it immediately. It mixes most easily in water based serums, but can be added to other serum or moisturizer which it does not conflict with (consult TO's regimen guide). Mix only what you need per application, don't pre-mix a batch. And start out slowly since it does tingle/sting a bit. I hope this is helpful, but don't hesitate to ask me if you have additional questions. Thanks for reading!
The Ordinary-100% Cold Pressed Virgin Marula Oil
Hylamide High-Efficiency Face Cleaner
I would describe #Hylamide - High-Efficiency Face Cleaner[products]#[FiveStars] as an oil cleanse and a gel cleanser all-in-one. It comes out of the bottle as a very light feeling oil, but washes off like any other cleanser. I dont know how Deciem accomplishes this magic, but I do know that it is very effective at removing makeup and cleansing the skin. It's regular around $19 cdn for 120ml from deciem.com, and it will last forever! I apply a nickle or quarter sized amount to DRY skin and massage my entire face (closed eyes and lips included) for a couple of minutes before rinsing it off with warm water. As soon as water is introduced, it no longer feels like an oil and easily rinses away. It does not leave your face feeling "squeaky clean" (which some may prefer), but it removes all traces of face and eye makeup and leaves skin feeling soft, smooth, and not stripped of natural oils. (I wiped my face with a cotton pad and micellar water after washing off a full face of makeup and found no hint of foundation, so I know it works). Before this cleanser I used to double cleanse with plant oils and then a gel cleanser, but no longer require a double cleanse. My routine is complicated enough, so I'm happy to be cutting out a step. I don’t know why people aren't raving about this (or all) Hylamide products, (I even had to create the product tag for this review!?). Definitely try out this high-tech line for some innovative skin care! 👍 And for the simplified, less-expensive alternative, The Ordinary - Squalane Cleanser is awesome too! ($19 cdn for 150ml) It works almost the same way - warm it in your hands until it becomes oil-like, apply to dry skin and massage, then wash off with warm water. I love it too, and find it a little more gentle. It would be great for very sensitive skin! Thanks for reading!
The Ordinary-Squalane Cleanser
Tinting mineral face sunscreen: For DIY-ers
Just bought a facial mineral sunscreen that leaves a horrible white cast?? If you like DIY projects and hate wasting money (like me), might I suggest custom tinting, instead of tossing it?! I love Thinksport body sunscreens for their safe ingredients and nice smell, so I bought TWO thinksport - Everyday Face Sunscreen "tinted" SPF 30, without ever trying it. Turns out it leaves a noticeable white cast, even on my light complexion. So I ended up tinting it to match my skin tone. I now have a very safe, usable mineral sunscreen that also functions as a BB cream with some coverage and subtle highlight. It actually makes my skin look BETTER, well moisturized, and glowy - instead of that pasty, "been dead for 6 hours" look. You can see the colour difference in the swatches on my arm. I clearly needed a much darker tint to counteract the whiteness of the zinc! (The light colour is the tint out of the tube). To do this, you'll need some iron oxide pigments (and micas, if you like pearlescent highlights) - which are already present in tinted formulas. You can purchase samples of these pigments from most soap making stores (ie: Candora Soap and Soap Supplies) for around $3 each (a sample size will last forevvver). Just make sure you're getting pigments that are meant for cosmetic uses, and avoid ultramarines! I use brown and yellow oxides and beige and gold micas, which work well for my warm skin tone, but everyone's skin is different so you may need to experiment with undertone colours. Directions: squeeze all the sunscreen into a mixing bowl (a mortar and postal work best) add pigments a teeny, teeny bit at a time, mixing very thoroughly until you've got a shade that works for you Transfer the sunscreen back into the container it came in (I cut the bottom of the squeeze tube off in order to refill it, then heat-sealed it back up), or to make it easier, transfer to a wide-mouth screw top jar. *Be sure to use the sunscreen up within a short period of time, since removing it from packing and adding ingredients has the potential to introduce bacteria. And always work in a clean area with clean/sterile utensils!* If I have trouble with the white cast of mineral sunscreens, then I can't imagine the struggles for people with much darker skin tones - so I hope this idea is helpful and makes safe, mineral sunscreen an option for everyone! Cheers!
thinksport-Everyday Face Sunscreen
Amino Acids: Extra hydration for winter skin
The Ordinary - Amino Acids + B5 Amino acids are naturally present in skin, as part of what’s called our natural moisturizing factors (NMFs). They are the building blocks of both peptides and proteins, and each has a specific role in skin care to maintain skin’s hydration, texture, resilience, and an overall supple, healthy appearance. Pro-Vitamin B5 Supports healthy-looking skin, can help stimulate the healing process, and absorbs moisture rapidly <-- pretty much plagiarized from some websites I was reading. I recently purchased The Ordinary - Amino Acids + B5 . Understably, many of its benefits will take time to become noticeable, but the instant hydration it provides is amazing! It's hard to describe, but it gives my skin a plump, primed feeling - like it's completely saturated with moisture. Almost a tacky (not sticky), bouncy feeling..not unpleasant at all! This morning, I mixed 2 drops of Amino Acids + B5 with TO's Hyaluronic acid and a pinch of TO's 100% ascorbic acid powder, then followed up with TO's Resveratrol + Ferrulic Acid, Marula oil, squalane, and sunscreen. It made for the most hydrated skin-day ever! (I should note that I have dry, dehydrated skin, so all the layers and oils I use might not bode well for oily skinned folks!) Bonuses: AA+B5 has no conflicts with other TO products and the texture is water-like so it absorbs almost instantly and completely. If you're not a fan of the sticky texture of the Hyaluronic acid, this would be a wonderful substitute. This Amino Acid serum is definitely becoming part of my winter skincare regimen. Dry, cold, Canadian winters are so hard on skin! Happy Hydrating!
The Ordinary-Amino Acids + B5