skincare

My AlumierMD Peel journey!

Last month, I decided to finally take control of my adult acne *cry* and figured it was time for some experimentation with a premium line I had recently heard a lot about. I also figured it was time for some grown-up facial care! I have recently had a bout with some not-so-lovely acne, and really, I haven't experienced acne like this before. While my skin was always not terrible, it's never been consistently broken out like this. After speaking and seeing the results of one of my lovely brides, I decided to take her advice and go to Dermis myself!

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So today, I had my second AlumierMD peel at Dermis Advanced Skin Care and Medi Clinic on Albert Street. I see Jessica K. there and she really is a wealth of knowledge! 

 

The first time I went, we did a very mild, superficial peel, as I have very reactive skin. We were trying to decide it's temperament and didn't want to go too strong, too soon. Today, we did the AlumierMD Glow Peel, and stuck with just one layer (apparently you can do up to 5!). Before the peel started, Jessica cleansed my skin and did a clay masque. After that, she used a 20% salicylic acid composition to start the exfoliation process. The Glow Peel itself is a combination of lactic acid, salicylic acid, glycolic acid and resorcinol - all work together in perfect harmony to help to loosen dead skin cells, exfoliate the skin and treat acne. The peel itself wasn't uncomfortable, but it was a strong at times with a burning feeling up the nose (I tried to hold my breath lol). While it sat on for the full 5 mins, it was actually tolerable. Once the peel did it's thing, she went ahead and neutralized it, then used their Anti-Itch Intensive Recovery cream from their post care kit. Poof - instant relief! Having had the peel done about 6 hours ago, I currently feel like my face is tight and possibly like it's shrink-wrapped 😬

 

I also re-purchased an Essential Oil Complex from GM Collin which I am completely pleased with (and I feel like I'm always so disappointed with skin care). It keeps the reactive skin tame, soothed and feeling nice and clean. If I could bathe in that stuff I would...but at $64.00/bottle, I use it sparingly!

 

Here's a snippet of my current products that I'm using, that are NOT irritating my finicky skin.

Here's a snippet of my current products that I'm using, that are NOT irritating my finicky skin.

 

I can tell already that I will be pleased with the results. We are targeting some new acne (boooo!) and acne scarring from years of picking. Do as I say, not as I do... don't pick!

 

One thing I find interesting, is that a lot of skin care professionals who use the AlumierMD line, don't actually stock a lot of the products. You can easily order online and it should be at your door within 3-4 business days. I did do some sleuthing and figured out that Brookstreet's spa Au Naturel does carry the entire line. I guess it's a great way for pros to reduce their overhead and not sit on products that might not move - at first I was shocked, but now I understand. It's actually a great way to make sure that they products you receive are fresh and new, and not sitting on a spa's shelf for an extended period of time. But if you need it - Brookstreet will likely have it!

 

 

Look what's finally arrived - The Ordinary Colours!

I say finally, but really it was like 2 weeks from when I ordered. I'm thoroughly impressed with The Ordinary thus far, in terms of their marketing, overall product quality and their customer service. Just after I placed my order, they announced that there was a production hold up with their Colours, and I do believe it was due to packaging (everyone wanted pumps instead of droppers - good choice and well worth the wait, IMO). They made a public apology as well as an email blast to their customers stating the issue. See? That's all us customers want, is to be kept in the loop. For such a green company, they are already making good choices! I did notice on their website that they still are out of stock/production of some due to waiting for those pumps, but hopefully they'll have a solution figured out soon.

Price Point

So when it comes to makeup, I always have a hard time deciding what I'd like and tend to over-purchase. All in the name of product research, I say!  With The Ordinary Colours, there are two formula options - Coverage Foundation and Serum Foundation. I normally like a fuller coverage, so that was a given, and I've been on the hunt for a lightweight option for summer and weekends. At $6.90 and $6.70 respectively, I figured I'd give both a whirl.

 

Packaging

The packaging is practical and not fussy at all. Some would say that it's a bit plain like their skincare line, but seriously, it's functional, well made and that's really all that matters. I've been in the industry long enough to know that sometimes (note I didn't say all the time), but sometimes, fancy packaging can just be smoke and mirrors for the actual ingredients inside said jar/bottle/package. The plastic bottles feel good in the hand with their rubberized feel, and same with the pump. I have to mention again how happy I am that they bypassed the dropper option. Ugh... I see droppers and all I think of is how unsanitary and contaminated the product will become. I know you're know supposed to touch the dropper, but everyone does, and a pump just avoids all of that ickiness. Not to mention the mess a dropper foundation can become. The boxes are stiff and sturdy, and have a rubberized characteristic to them as well.

Generally speaking, foundation also has a tendency to wear down on my skin throughout the day, no matter what their long-wearing claims may be. It always starts off looking fresh, and by end of day, will look tired, cakey and heavy, accentuating every line, pore and texture on my skin. Always a challenge - what works one week might not work the next. My skin is pickyyyyyy.

 

Sun protection factor

In terms of formulation, I love, love LOVE the fact that the foundations are created without chemical sunscreens, because my skin hates, hates, HATES those. Oxybenzone & Octinoxate will literally give me craters on my face by end of day, and I'll end up with rash-like acne. Trust me - it ain't pretty. So when I noticed they spoke about using physical protection ingredient Titanium Dioxide, I figured it was one less thing for me to react to. You won't notice an SPF notation on the packaging though - long story short, that's reserved for the the European packaging for now (same formula, different wording). Did I mention my skin hates chemical sunscreen? Hates. 

 

shade range/colours

Shade options - there are A LOT! What brand launches 21 shades during their initial release?! Not many, that's who! The Ordinary separates and categorizes their Colours in the most perfect of ways - a way that makes sense. They use the numbers and letters (sounds familiar!), but I do like this system. Because what does Classic Ivory or Buff Beige really mean anyways?! Like, really.

So it works like this:

Level of Colour: 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 2.0, 2.1, 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3

Undertone: P (pink), N (neutral), Y (yellow), R (red)

So some will select level first, some undertone. As long as you end up at the same place and the correct shade, it doesn't matter.

undertones & swatches

For myself, I like a truly neutral foundation for winter and spring; for summer I tend to get a bit more neutral/pink and I like to mix foundations. I'm not pink enough for a straight pink undertone foundation but a mix suits me well. So for my shade, I opted for the following:

2.0N Serum Foundation

2.0 Coverage Foundation

2.0P Serum Foundation

2.0P Coverage Foundation

If I'm being critical about shades and undertone (which I usually am), at first glance, these are almost bang on to what I expected from the description online. I didn't grab a Y (yellow) undertone to compare, although maybe I should have. But from what I saw in online comparisons is that it was quite gold. Good for some, but not for this Mediterranean/Scottish blend chicka.

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Formulas

The formulas are quite nice, having only swatches them on my arms so far. The Coverage formula offers a nice medium-full coverage liquid; non-oily, but a lovely demi-matte finish, in my opinion. 

Serum Foundation sounds super liquidy and watery when you shake it up, whereas the viscosity of the Coverage is a tad thicker (although no thicker than any other medium coverage foundation out there). I'm wearing the Serum formula today and the coverage is LOVELY but the texture is so difficult to describe, because I know will butcher what I want to say LOL! It's lightweight and luminous, and imparts the most beautiful flawless finish with a whisper of coverage and colour. Due to the nature of the slip and slide of the formula, I figured it would oxidize a bit, but 6 hours of wear so far and we are still fresh and looking like the 2.0N I applied hours ago! The skin combo I used today was:

Sonia Roselli Water Balm

The Ordinary Colours Serum Foundation in 2.0N

Applied with Sonia Roselli Sable Foundation Brush

One Fine Beauty Matte Perfection Touch Up Veil in N25 under eyes

Topped off with Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

 

Verdict

So as of now, I'm super impressed. With this Serum Foundation, I may have found a new lightweight, everyday, non-SPF foundation! If so, given the price point, colour range, and overall product composition, I will be super stoked and a loyal customer for a long time!

EXCITING NEWS - Expanding Across the Country!

Being one of Ottawa's most sought-after makeup teams certainly is a rewarding feeling.

To think - just over 4 years ago, I had this wild and crazy idea to quit my steady and rewarding career to start my own freelance company. Wasn't sure if it was the right choice, but it was a 'sink or swim' situation (and hope to heck I swim!).

Here we are - in year 4.5 and now we are across the country! You can find well trained, incredibly talented artists under the One Fine Beauty Team in not only Ottawa, but also in Kingston, Prince Edward County, Niagara and Vancouver!

I've been so gifted in my life to work with such exceptional makeup artists, but more than that, I work with people who CARE!

They care about their clients and their special day.

They care about their kits, keeping them super clean and having the best products.

They care about their reputation, and that of One Fine Beauty. We will never let you down.

They know they can offer the best service . We are more than just a group of makeup artists. We offer a wonderful experience to our clients' wedding day!

 

Feel free to check out the new gals profiles -  Marianne (Ottawa), Jordana (Vancouver) and Kathleen (Niagara)

CTV Morning Live - Cover That Sunburn!

Oh boy - have we been blessed with some amazing weather this past long weekend! So what happens if you indulged a bit too much, and maybe weren't so liberal with the sunscreen? Here are some steps to get your skin back in good shape if it's been stressed out by all that sunshine!

Here is the video, this morning on CTV Morning Live with Melissa Lamb : Cover That Sunburn

First things first - let's take care of all that's happened to that poor skin! Sunburned skin can be quite painful, turn an unsightly pink, red (or even purplish, depending on the severity), lead to flaking, dehydration and mucho peeling.

 

So let's add some much needed hydration back in! First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Liquid Recovery does just that - almost a serum type product, but most definitely a concentrated water base, this unique product adds intense hydration to the skin, as well as calms and soothes stressed skin, helping to repair damage resulted by environmental stressors. The sun is definitely one of those! [ETA : after a bit of research, it is clear that this is a miracle product given the reviews I've read - but it's also being discontinued by the company :( totally bummed! I will covet mine and highly recommend checking our your local Sephora to see if they still have it in stock. Their Anti-Redness Serum looks like a good second bet with Aloe in it!)

 

Another great product from First Aid Beauty is their Ultra Repair Pure Mineral Sunscreen Moisturizer SPF 40 - love this because it's a physical sunscreen, not chemical. This provides great moisture, while loaded with skin soothing ingredients such as Colloidal Oatmeal, which is awesome on tender skin.

I gave a good explanation of the difference on the segment, but for more reasons than the fact that a physical sunscreen prevents the sun's rays from even coming close to your skin, they are just better tolerated than chemical sunscreens. A lot of people can break out from chemical versions, or have reactions at the very least, whereas physical sunscreens are great for sensitive skin. 

 

Next up - colour correctors! Let's dial it back to colour theory, and break out the ol' trusty colour wheel.

Opposite of red on the colour wheel is green, hence the green colour corrector recommendation. Because we are placing the green corrector on top of the sunburn, this will do a good job at cancelling out the colour (if it were placed next to the sunburn, it would likely intensify it!). For this, we used Maybelline Master Prime Blur + Redness Control. Also, you can achieve similar results using a yellow corrector - so if green isn't working, or it's sold out in your preferred product, go ahead and use yellow! After you're done with the light colour correction, you will need to bring life and colour back to the skin with a good concealer and/or foundation. Your work isn't done just yet!

Now, don't go wild on this part - I feel with a really good foundation you may be able to skip this altogether. 

 

This next step is pretty much the main player in covering up your sunburn - a good coverage foundation! I absolutely love Estée Lauder Double Wear because it coverage is incredible (medium, buildable), it looks super natural on, 15 hour wear and can withstand heat and humidity! When you've got a burn, sometimes it wants to roast and melt your foundation off your skin - won't happen with this one! If original EL Double Wear is just too much coverage for you, try Double Wear Light - it's heavenly on almost all skin types!

 

Last but not least, you'll want to add a bit of sunkissed glow back into your once overly rosy skin. Using a matter bronzer like MAC Cosmetics' Matte Bronze Bronzer will add that perfectly tanned hue to your skin, without drawing out the redness. I'd personally avoid anything with shimmer as this might undo a lot of your work of trying to cover the burn up in the first place!

 

This week in Ottawa we are expecting some pretty hot and sunny days, so grab a sun hat, slater on some good sunblock and enjoy the sunshine! 

CTV Morning Live : Travel Beauty Essentials

Ahhh, who doesn't love a nice trip away?? With weight restrictions and checked luggage charges, it's best to keep the beauty regime low-key by not bringing a ton of products (and it'll leave you extra space for all the shoes!). This morning on CTV Morning Live, Melissa Lamb and I were talking about travel beauty essentials, and looked at some pretty cool products - check them out!

Watch the video here!

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And in order, here are the fabulous products we discussed:

Mèreadesso Travel Ease Kit - mereadesso.com, Nordstrom, $45; includes their amazing Face + Neck Cleanser, cleansing cloth and All-In-One Moisturizer. The AIO Moisturizer is pretty amazing because it's your day cream, night cream, eye cream, serum, and primer all in one! Talk about being able to pack light with all those great skin care product in on convenient pouch! And the best part - the packets are resealable :)

Jack Black Jet Set Traveler - getjackblack.ca, Nordstrom, $33; Jack Black is a fantastic skin care and grooming line for men - free from parabens, sulfates, colorants and synthetic fragrance. This set is a $42 value and includes everything needed to shave and care for your skin while away on your travels. Carry on friendly.

L'Oréal Professionnel Wet Domination by Tecni. Art - select salons; embrace the wet look while on vacation - no need for heat or styling tools to achieve one of the season's biggest trends in hairstyling. Both the Extreme Splash and Shower Shine are easy to use, and recommended for all hair types.

Pureology Fresh Approach Dry Shampoo and Condition - select salons; who doesn't love a great dry shampoo - it helps to effortlessly refresh your hairstyle and absorb excess oils. But Dry Condition... this stuff is *amazing* at managing the ends of your hair, taming frizzies and smoothing your overall look. With Pureology's Ant-Fade Complex, you can be sure it's actually doing good things for your colour and/or highlights, as well. See it as a little TLC for your tresses that may be a little stressed from all that sand and sun ;)

Tia Beauty Hair Removal Laser 4x - triabeauty.ca, $515; Tria's number one seller for laser hair removal. This seriously makes it so easy to be razor-free during your travels with a few quick treatments at home before you go! With as little as one treatment every two weeks, you can be virtually hair-free in about 3 months (results vary), using the same diode that you would be treated with at a dermatologists' office for a fraction of the price. Win! (PSA - when using lasers, always use a sunscreen)

Tria Age-Defying Eye Wrinkle Correcting Laser - triabeauty.ca, $285; This breakthrough anti-aging laser is uniquely designed for treating the eye area that corrects fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes for eye-opening results in just two minutes a day, for a visible younger, more radiant look. Keep that fresh, radiant, just-got-back-from-vacation look going and going. Perfect for travel because of it's ease of use and compact size. Follow up with your favourite nourishing eye cream, and remember, when using lasers, always use a sunscreen!