Face Serums

I often wonder if face serums are worth their expensive price tag. Supposedly, they are a crucial component of a skincare routine packed with anti-aging ingredients that keep your skin looking young. However, because they are generally touted as offering long-term results, it’s hard to justify spending lots of money on products that don’t seem to be doing much on a day-to-day basis.

In my case, I do usually spend more on serums than other products. I figure why spend a fortune on a cleanser that is going to be rinsed off in a minute or a toner that is just going to evaporate off my skin? If serums do what they claim, then where is my credit card?

(I’m not too concerned with going all natural when it comes to serums – you want some powerful anti-aging action, you’re going to need some chemicals.)

Though skincare gurus tell you to use a serum in the morning and evening, because they are expensive, I only use them in the evening. I cleanse, spritz on some rosewater, and while my skin is still damp, I apply a bit of serum. I’ve been alternating between two as of late:

Neither seems to be doing much for my skin in the short-term, besides providing some extra moisture. Ask me again in 25 years.

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Another Book Post

Currently reading: The First Bad Man by Miranda July. In true July form, this book is quirky and funny and super unique. So far, so good.

Cookbooks I have out from the library: Momofuku and Momofuku Milk Bar which are beautiful to look at, but too complicated to actually make something from. The Portlandia Cookbook which is for fans, not foodies. Mark Bittman’s VB6 (the tofu jerky is amazing!) and the aforementioned Joyous Health.

On the to-read list: Michael Crummey’s Sweetland. Paula Hawkin’s The Girl on the Train. Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven.

Reading anything good?

p.s. Have you seen this hilarious tumblr of actual Kindle covers?

p.p.s. As always, I review the books I read on my instagram.

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Lemon Water and Yoga

For the last 12 days, I’ve been doing something new…

I’ve been starting everyday with a glass of lemon water and yoga. The former was inspired by Joy McCarthy’s book Joyous Health. According to her, drinking lemon water first thing in the morning helps cleanse and alkalize the body, increases bile (in a good way!), and clears your skin.  I don’t know about all that stuff, but I have come to enjoy starting everyday with a burst of hydration.

Following my lemon water, is yoga. I’ve been so lax in the exercise department since my knee injury (which I am currently in physiotherapy for) and have been craving some way of moving my body that doesn’t aggravate my knee. I found this wonderful 30 days of yoga YouTube series and have been faithfully doing it every single day. It is a good mix of relaxing and challenging, movement and stillness, and the instructor, Adriene, is super cute and personable.

Starting my days this way has been such a wonderful ritual that sets a positive tone for the whole day. Do you do have any feel-good morning rituals?
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Affordable Natural Skincare

When it comes to creating a natural skin care routine, there’s no need to break the bank. Here are a few affordable and natural skin care products I’ve been trying out:

  • On the high end of the affordable spectrum is this Weleda Almond Soothing Facial Cream. I’ve been using this as a night cream and it is lovely. Smells like marzipan and absorbs well.
  • I just started using this Acure Organics Facial Cleansing Creme with Argan Oil and Mint. A really nice simple cream cleanser that smells like a mojito and rinses off cleanly.
  • When my skin is breaking-out, I like to use this Now European Clay Powder as a face mask. The first time I used it, I followed the directions and mixed it with water, but after a minute or two on my face, it started drying out and got SO ITCHY and I couldn’t stand it and had to rinse it off immediately. I now mix it with honey and a tiny tiny bit of water and leave it on for about 20 minutes. Maybe it’s psychosomatic, but after I use it, my skin seems to glow.

When it comes to skin care, do you stick to high-end products or are you more a fan of budget buys?

p.s. Use the code QZC051 for a discount at iherb.com.

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TV, TV, TV

Seems like there is either nothing to watch or too much to watch and I’m in the latter category these days.

Shows I’ve have on the go:

On Netflix, I’m watching House of CardsI was pretty excited when the third season came out, and so far, so good. I’ve also been giving Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt a chance. I adore Tina Fey and 30 Rock is one of my favourite television shows of all time, so there was high expectations for this one. Unfortunately, I’m not that into it, but I’m going to watch the whole season in the hope that it starts getting better.

For my dose of reality shows, I’m really into Masterchef. And even though the couples theme this season is unfortunate, I can’t give up The Amazing Raceespecially since former New Kids on the Block member JONATHAN KNIGHT is on it.

Then of course, there is my favourite, Broad City, plus Better Call Saul, and Gilmore Girls. 

Good thing the days are getting longer as I have a lot of watchin’ to do.

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One Love Organics

One Love Organics has become quite the darling of the green skincare community with awards, lots of positive press, and every natural skincare blog singing their praises. I decided to check out a couple of their products to see if they live up to the hype.

Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin B Active Moisture Cleansing Oil and Makeup RemoverOf all the OLO products, this is the one that I hear the most about. It is a lovely light oil with an amazing pineapple scent that does an excellent job of gently removing make-up. Best of all, after you rub this all over your face, you add some water and the oil transforms into a cleansing milk and can be rinsed away –  no washcloth required!

I do really like this cleansing oil, but after some use, I’ve found that I prefer using it for my second cleanse. This product is just too good/expensive for my first cleanse, the one where I want to just get my make-up off. For that, plain oil or a mix of oils (coconut, olive, jojoba, castor) does just fine. Using this as my second cleanse, I can really spend some time massaging it into my skin and I’m not just using it to move around the make-up and dirt on my face before rinsing it off.

Brand New Day Microderma Scrub & Masque. I’ve been mixing this product with raw honey and a bit of water and using it once a week as a masque. Again, it has that wonderful pineapple scent, and while I don’t notice a lot of difference in my skin since I started using it, I do feel like it helps my make-up apply more evenly. Plus, that bit of me-time and the luxury of this product is a nice weekly treat.

While I really enjoy the two OLO products I have, I doubt I will re-purchase either of them as I don’t like to spend my skincare money on cleansers and masques/exfoliators that do not sit on the skin for very long. However, I think if you’re into natural skincare and don’t mind spending some extra money, these products are super lovely.

Have you tried anything from One Love Organics?

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Saturday Links

my cat is the handomest cat

 

Oh boy, this has been a busy week what with my mindfulness class, various family things, and work.

  • With this lovely weather, I can’t help but start to covet all of the spring clothes. Love these dresses and this simple linen tee.
  • Interested in putting together a photo album with this app. Seems quick and easy.
  • Love this video of Kevin Spacey and Jimmy Fallon doing impersonations. (Are you watching the new House of Cards season? OMG.)
  • Kevin is making this smoky frittata tomorrow and I’m stoked. Tonight, we’re having portobello burgers with these garlic and miso green beans that are so good.
  • The folk festival line-up came out and it’s so good this year. I’m most excited about Jenny Lewis, but Wilco, Bahamas, and Donovan Woods ain’t too shabby either.
  • In other local news, I’m eager to try out the new Sherbrook Street Delicatessen. Will Winnipeg finally get the bagels it deserves?

Hope you’re having a good weekend!

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Review: Lavanila Healthy Deodorant

Generally, I’m a fan of Schmidt’s deodorant, though I’ve noticed that sometimes it makes my armpits sting. I’ve done some research and this stinging is not uncommon and is usually the result of baking soda, one of the main ingredients in Schmidt’s.

As my tub of Schmidt’s was nearing its end, I ordered a stick of Lavanila Healthy deodorant, which is baking-soda free. It also doesn’t have aluminum, sulfates, parabens, petrochemicals, phthalates, mineral oil, and synthetic dyes or fragrance.

The stick format of this deodorant makes it much easier to apply than the Schmidt’s deodorant, though the formula is much wetter so I need to be more careful when dressing after applying it. I’d say it works just as well as the Schmidt’s, though the warmer months will be the true test of its effectiveness. I got the vanilla grapefruit scent and it pretty much smells like you would expect.

Next on my list of natural deodorant’s to try: Meow Meow Tweet’s. The best way to get it in Canada seems to be through Petit Vour (I hope they have the grapefruit scent when I’m ready to order…).

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February Update and March Intentions

Oh boy, February was not a good month for my intentions.

February Update:

Exercise (at least) seven times. Big fat fail. I did not exercise even once in February. I injured my knee from going to hard with my running at the end of January and it’s been pretty painful all month. It still hurts quite a bit and I hope that by the end of March, I can get back on the exercise train. I miss it.

Drink more water. I started out strong with this one, but two weeks in, I pretty much gave up on it.

Journal once a week. I managed to journal three weeks this month, so let’s consider this a success.

Work on my posture. Again, was on top of this for about two weeks and then gave up. My massage therapist is going to be very disappointed in me.

March Intentions

Continue my meditation practice. I’ve been taking a mindfulness class since January and this has involved a lot of at-home meditation practice. The class ends next week and I know that it’s going to be hard to continue to meditate without the motivation of the class.

Play the piano. I recently got my piano tuned with the intention of starting to play again. It’s time to dig out my old scores and figure out if I can still read sheet music.

That seems good for now. I’ll take it easy in March. You making any resolutions as we head into spring?

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Baggu

Does everyone already know about baggu? They sell bags of all types, but are especially known for their nylon reusable grocery-type bags. They’re super strong (can hold up to 50 lbs!), and they come in beautiful colours and adorable patterns. Best of all, they come in a little pouch so they’re super easy to carry with you.

I received this one as a Hannukah gift and I can’t get over how handy it is. So often I find myself out and about and I pop in a store and think “darn, I forgot to bring a bag!” and then I remember I have my baggu in my purse and the day is saved.

p.s. Do you wash your grocery bags?

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